The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival – currently underway at Expo Centre Sharjah – welcomed 10-year old genius, Tiara Abraham, and her 12-year old prodigy brother,Tanishq, to the festival to share their thoughts on why learning should be fun.
Tiara Abraham – a 10-year old college student, polyglot and singer from California, USA – was, together with her brother, one of the youngest siblings to join MENSA (the high IQ society) at just four years old. Tiara started taking college at 7 years old, studying Spanish, Italian and French, with a 4.0 gross point average (GPA). She became the youngest member of the college honour society, Phi Theta Kappa, at 9 years old, beating her bother’s record by a few months. Tiara also enjoys singing and has done solo performances, events, live TV and radio broadcasts, as well as a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Tiara also delves into philanthropy and raised $1,400 for two international charities during a fundraising concert at her tenth birthday party.
Tiara’s brother, Tanishq Abraham – a 12-year old college graduate, speaker and MENSA member – graduated from high school at 10 with a 4.0 GPA. He started college at age 7, studying geology and astronomy, and today has triple associate degrees in Math and Physical Sciences, General Science and Foreign Language Studies, with a perfect GPA. At 8, Tanishq became the founding Vice President of the College Astronomy and Physics Club, where he served for two years. Later elected as the Vice President of Communications for Phi Theta Kappa, the college honour society, Tanishq has given talks at TEDx, SXSW, Skoll Foundation, NASA as well as on TV and radio shows. He also enjoys music and gave his first piano recital at age 3. Later he joined the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Boy Chorus as a chorister for five years.
Lifestyle expert, speaker, and author of the book Seize Your Life: How to Carpe Diem Everyday, Jasmine Brett Stringer, interviewed the smart siblings during a session at SCRF on April 20 and had this to say about them: “It’s so refreshing to meet kids who have such a passion for learning. It’s this kind of enthusiasm that encourages other kids to get passionate about studying. When I first heard that the Abrahams siblings belonged to MENSA I thought ‘they must be total brainiacs’, which kind of intimidated me. While they are incredibly smart, they are also really warm, engaging and great fun to talk to. The whole idea of having these kids at SCRF is to show other children how awesome learning really is. If something sparks an interest in kids – for example Tiara loves learning about languages, creativity and history while Tanishq leans more towards the sciences – we should encourage them to pursue it and feed their passion.”
Touching on the actual festival, Jasmine said: “The commitment Sharjah shows to education is inspiring, and watching the emirate’s schools bringing kids to the festival is wonderful. There is an honest connection that’s being placed on books here and the kids are able to learn in a fun and hands-on way; I would say that at least 85 per cent of the activities are practical, which is amazing. This festival offers so many ways to engage with reading, by feeding all the senses. It’s really exciting to be here.”