In support of Big Heart Initiative Cultural Initiative from Sharjah to support Syrian children in the Emirati Jordanian Refugee Camp The visit includes library opening and cultural and entertainment activities

For immediate release,
Sharjah,__ June 2014,

The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) accompanied by Knowledge Without Borders (KWB) is organising a field visit for a delegation from the emirate of Sharjah to the Emirati Jordanian Refugee Camp in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to support the refugee children in the camp.

The initiative is in line with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron and Head of the Organising Committee of KWB to support the Big Heart Campaign launched by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children to support Syrian refugee children.

Speaking about the objectives of the visit, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) Executive Board, said: “Our aim is to extend cultural, psychological and emotional support to Syrian children refugees and their parents in the Emirati Jordanian Refugee Camp and to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees who fled their war torn country.”

Al Aqroubi added: “The visit comes under the directives of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi who believes that books and reading are as important as food and medicine, particularly in crisis and post crisis periods.” She affirmed that the initiative would focus on how to leverage reading and book in restoring mental and psychological balance and creating positive stimulus for refugee children in the camp. She added that the visit is aligned with the UAE and Sharjah’s general approach in cultural initiatives and their unwavering attention to human development.

Speaking on the occasion, Rashid Mohammed Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge Without Borders (KWB), said that the visit will include a range of activities, most notably is the opening of a 3000 book library in the camp. Sharjah’s delegation will organise a series of entertaining and cultural activities and workshops, including workshops for teachers and parents, reading sessions and handcraft workshops at the camp’s classrooms, in addition to mural paintings by the camp’s children with the help of children’s book illustrators from Sharjah to take part in the event.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi launched the Big Heart Campaign for Syrian Refugees on 20 June 2013, coinciding with the UNHCR’s commemoration of World Refugee Day. The campaign aims at supporting Syrian refugee children affected by the crisis in Syria, alleviating their suffering, and maintaining their right of healthcare, education, safe childhood, better life and future.

Jordanian authorities announced in last May that the number of Syrian refugees in the country exceeded 591,000 since the start of the unrest in Syria three years ago. More than a third of the refugees live inside four refugee camps in Jordan. The largest camp is Zaatari in Mafraq Governorate. Other camps are the Emirati Jordanian Refugee Camp in Alzarqa, Park Refugee Camp in Al Ramtha city in Irbid Governorate, and Cyber City Refugee Camp in Irbid Governorate.