Sharjah: In an opening address at the 13th Sharjah Arab Children Forum, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Rubu’ Qarn for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators, urged “the builders of the future” to recognise the importance of their home countries.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher, addressing the opening ceremony in a video speech broadcast at the Sharjah Cultural Palace, said: “Our country deserves the best from us; it gave us our identity, it is where we build our lives & it is our home”
The event, which runs until March 28, is organized by Sharjah Children, an entity under Rubu’ Qarn for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators. The forum brought together nearly 128 children from 10 Arab countries, including 84 Emirati children from a cross-section of areas and Sharjah Children Centre, Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, and Emirates Scout Association.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said: “My children, young leaders… you are the builders of the future and creators of a new era. Trust that achieving any of your dreams requires knowledge, and knowledge leads to innovation and change for the better. All of you have the tools of learning, and opportunities are available to enrich your experiences and develop your skills, so you will lead the world in knowledge and science.”
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi called on the children participating in this year’s event to unite and cooperate, so that the Arab countries will flourish and develop. She concluded by saying: “My children, stand together & be united.”
Responsibilities towards Arab children
The opening ceremony started with the national anthem by the military band of Sharjah Children Centre, before Mariya Al Balushi from Al Heera Sharjah Children Center gave a welcoming speech. She said: “It is our pleasure to meet you today at the opening ceremony of the 13th Sharjah Arab Children Forum under the theme “Hear Us … We are the Future”. We meet today with our brothers, the Arab children, in our beloved Sharjah, and in the second country for all Arabs, the United Arab Emirates. We meet to express our loyalty and patriotism, and we are confident and proud that our voice today rises from the emirate of science and culture, and we say to everyone: We are the Future.”
During the ceremony, Aysha Al Kaabi, Acting Director of Sharjah Children (SC) and Chairperson of the forum’s Higher Organizing Committee, said: “I am pleased to welcome our guests to the 13th edition of the Sharjah Arab Children Forum … Welcome to our beloved country the United Arab Emirates, whose leadership always takes care of its children … I welcome you to Sharjah Arab Culture, Glorious Sharjah, Humanitarian Sharjah and Giving Sharjah, under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the patron of civilization, development and humanitarian initiatives.”
“This edition addresses childhood and sustainability, because sustainability requires new thinking, new culture, and a different relationship between man, environment and resources. Hence the importance of nurturing the new generation to love nature and protect it and its resources”
“The message of the Arab children through this forum is “Hear Us … We are the Future”, while our message to Arab children is: “You are the opportunity to better lives”.”
Al Kaabi added: “My beloved children, we don’t want you to take responsibility of the future alone; You’re our hope, and to achieve what you’re expected to do, we must also shoulder our responsibility with the utmost sincerity, through allowing you to discover your talents, to nurture and enhance them through connecting Arab children with their counterparts around the world and listening to you and giving you the opportunity to express your opinion about your future. Let us all listen to our children in order to learn together that the universe is only a place of happiness, tolerance and creativity.”
The opening ceremony also featured a play written and directed by the director of the ceremony, Mohammed Bakr, and the executive director, Magdy Mahfouz. The play combined reality with imagination to reflect the importance of listening to children and taking the generation gap and development into consideration.
That was followed by 62 children from Sharjah Children Centre’s and Administration of Sharjah Youth, Sajaya young ladies of Sharjah and Sharjah for Capability Development, presenting the song “Hear Us …We Are The Future”, before a delegation took to the stage for the song “We Have Come”. The songs were written by Abdullah Al Shehhi, Mahmoud Abu Al Abbas and composed by Dina Saad, Music Advisor of Sharjah Children.
The ceremony concluded with a memorial photo of the children participating in the forum.
Sharjah Arab Children Forum, which is organized every two years, is a unique platform that brings Arab children together to discuss their issues. The 13th edition of the forum is held under the theme “Hear us … We Are the Future”, which is extended from last edition in 2016 to reaffirm their appeal to decision-makers in the Arab world to guide their plans towards enabling the new generation by science, technology, technical skills, innovation and creativity. The theme also translates Arab children’s right to live in safety during the development of production techniques and exploitation of natural resources, which requires maintaining sustainability and preventing depletion.