Books – Made in UAE’ Brings 15 Heritage-Themed Stories by Emiratis to ADIBF 2018

‘Books-Made in the UAE’, a joint cultural project between the UAE Boards on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region, have participated at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), which was inaugurated yesterday (Wednesday, April 25) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The participation forms part of the project’s endeavours to contribute to developing the skills of local writers and illustrators and encourage the development of Emirati-made children’s books, with texts and illustrations reflecting the cultural values and interests of Emirati children.

On the sidelines of its participation, ‘Books-Made in the UAE’ organised an interactive discussion, highlighting 15 heritage-themed stories for children and young adults by 10 local writers and illustrators who were part of the project’s sixth edition, which was rolled out recently at the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah. The construction of these stories have followed a series of workshops, which their authors underwent during the programme under the supervision of
well-known German children’s book author and illustrator Ute Krause.

The 15 stories are part of a collection titled “Once Upon a Time” that was introduced to children in a series of reading sessions at the Tales under the Tent area at ADIBF 2018. The presentation of the stories such as Umm Al Habban, Khonfor Zonfor, Badiha Badihoo and Enteifan allowed the authors to receive valuable feedback about their work from their primary target audience – children.

The session addressed the importance of preserving cultural heritage by reviving oral narrative traditions and discussed the main ideas that form Emirati heritage stories. It also shed light on the advice and guidelines that the writers and illustrators received during their participation at the ‘Books – Made in UAE’ workshops, and how they can be applied to enhance the quality of books to attract young Arabic readers.

Launched in 2011, the ‘Books – Made in UAE’ project aims to encourage talented Emirati authors and illustrators to develop their skills in writing and illustrating children’s books and promote their works in the UAE and beyond. It also seeks to inspire writers and artists to produce books that reflect Emirati cultural values and national identity through valued content and attractive images that captivate children and stimulate their imagination.

The UAEBBY is the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organisation that represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
IBBY aims to o promote international understanding through children’s books, give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards, provide support and training for those involved with children and children’s literature.
The UABBY seeks to ensure children’s access to books, encourage the publication and distribution of quality children’s books and promoting reading and children’s books.

Read, Dream, Create’ Transforms Young Readers into Young Writers at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

The ‘Read, Dream, Create’ campaign (RDC), an initiative of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) to nurture a new generation of young readers, has organised a diverse range of interactive activities and workshops at UAEBBY’s Stand at the 10th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The activities include a workshop titled ‘How to Write a Story’, which shows children all the elements needed to author a great book, including forming characters, plots and sequences of events, stimulating their imaginations and enriching their tales with new adventures. During the session, a story, ‘Cotton Cloud’, was read to children, who were then asked to play the roles of the characters.

Another RDC workshop, ‘A Journey with Thinking Skills’, teaches children how to distinguish between fact, fiction and opinion. The youngsters engaged in a range of interactive activities, such as decorating paintings with coloured sand and seashells, making ceramic candlesticks and 3D pens, creating bookmarks using dried flowers and producing book models using coloured flour to inspire their artistic and creative talents.

The campaign also organised a host of story readings from Kalimat publications, including ‘A Rocket to Space’, ‘High and Far’, ‘Melia the Giraffe’ and ‘The Tree of Memories”.

SCRF, which is being held under the theme ‘Your Future… Just a Book Away’, concludes tomorrow (Saturday).

Launched by the UAEBBY in 2013, the Read, Dream, Create campaign aims to bring young people and books together and promote the importance of reading among all members of the Emirati community, particularly children. It also aims to develop the capabilities of children and young adults in reading and writing, encourage them to read, innovate and create, as well as hone their writing skills and transform their ideas into engaging, well written stories. The campaign has sought to encourage all community segments to participate and volunteer in the reading events it has organised.

Italian Consul General to Dubai Opens UAE’s First Italian Library

The Consul General of Italy in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Valentina Setta, has opened the first Italian library in UAE. The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) contributed several books to the library, which will form part of the International Concept for Education campus.

Attending the opening from Italy were Dr. Marcella Terrusi, representative of the Italy Board on Books for Young People (IBBY Italy), the 2018 Guest of Honour Country of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), Elena Pasoli, Manager of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Grazia Gotti, children’s books expert, Co-founder of the children’s bookshop Giannino Stoppani, children’s author, Beatrice Masini and children’s book illustrator, Andrea Antinori.

The UAEBBY Guest of Honour programme this year was organised in collaboration with the Italian General Consulate in the UAE, and ICE Dubai.

Dr Terrusi spoke at the opening of the importance of the library and how its founding will bring closer cultural ties to both nations.

Dr. Terrusi added that while UAEBBY was a relatively young chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People, its enthusiasm, ambition and significant achievements through it projects and campaigns had been an inspiration to other branches of the organisation.

She also emphasised the common goal of bringing children and books together to create a generation of avid readers.

As this year’s Guest of Honour, IBBY Italy has had an excellent opportunity to connect with the Italian community in the UAE and has played a prominent role in the 10th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), which runs until April 28 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Forming part of the Guest of Honour programme during SCRF, Beatrice Masini, said that cultural ties with the UAE are closer than ever before.

Widely recognised as one Italy’s most talented and prolific writers, publishers and translators of books for children and young adults, the literary expert described the cultural interaction between her home country and the UAE as a highly important relationship that both nations can nurture and cherish.

Ms Masini, who translated five of the Harry Potter books into Italian, is also a representative of Italy IBBY and was invited to the UAE following UAEBBY’s participation at the 55th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, one of the publishing world’s most important events.

Following a storytelling session and book signing event at SCRF for students from the International Concept for Education, Ms Masini said: “It is extremely important to interact with other nations and see new perspectives, and I believe the cultural links we share with the UAE are becoming closer than ever.

“As a publisher as well as an author, I can also see that there are closer ties in trade terms as well and that is a relationship which can also bring us together on another level.”

Also participating in the Guest of Honour programme, the published illustrator Andrea Antinori, who won the highly-prized ‘Best Book for 6-9 year olds’ award at Bologna, held specialised workshops at the UAEBBY stand at the festival and joined Ms Masini for the book signing.

It is their books which will be donated to the Italian library by UAEBBBY following SCRF, where they are on display until the festival concludes.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY’s Executive Board, said: “Italy has always been one of the great seats of western literature and we are delighted to see the first ever Italian library in Dubai. The nation’s passion for literature and art is contagious and we have seen the children at the reading festival completely enchanted during the storytelling.

“This is an excellent chance for our guests to interact with the young UAE audience and gain insights into their reading preferences and habits, helping them to gauge the similarities and opportunities that such close cultural ties provide.

“For academics and publishers too, this is very much a two-way relationship to discuss challenges and opportunities and share their knowledge and experiences.”

In hosting the Italian delegation as Guests of Honour at SCRF, the UAEBBY inspires local talent to explore new literature, promote reading across the UAE’s many diverse communities and advocate the rights of children to a general education that includes direct access to information.

Operating in more than 77 countries, IBBY is the main board based in Switzerland and founded in 1953. The organisation is an international network of institutions and individuals from around the world who are committed to promoting and encouraging the culture of reading and bringing children and books together.

Readings from Emirati Folk Tales

Children’s book authors Ameera Bin Kadra, Asma Al Ketbi, Maitha Al Khayat, Nadia Al Najjar, and Noura Al Khoori read from Emirati folk tales such as “Umm Al Habban”, “Entaifan” and “Bdeiha”. The stories are part of a new collection of Emirati Folk Tales for children that was put together in the framework of the “Books – Made in UAE” initiative by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region. Children and their parents as well as interested publishers are invited to join and indulge in the world of jinns, demons and mystical creatures. Ameera Bin Kadra: (Umm al Habban) Asma Al Ketbi: (Bakhita and her Dog) Maitha Ak Khayat: (Khonfor Zonfor) Nadia Al Najjar: (Bdeiha) Noura Khoori (Enaifan)

UAEBBY and IBBY Italy Shed Light on Children’s Book Culture

Through its Guest of Honour (GoH) programme at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) every year, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has been furthering its efforts to enrich the local literary and cultural landscape through international exchange with national sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) around the world. IBBY Italy is under the spotlight at SCRF 2018, and rolled out the first few activities part of the GoH cultural programme Yesterday.

The highlight of the day was a discussion titled ‘The Children’s Book Culture in Italy’ featuring Dr Marcella Terrusi, Representative of the IBBY Italy, and award-wining author of the first international critique on silent books and researcher on ‘silent’ or wordless books and children’s literature; Elena Pasoli, Manager of Bologna Children’s Book Fair; children’s book expert, Grazia Gotti, and Emirati author and illustrator, Alia Al Shamsi.

Much of the discussion revolved around how IBBY Italy, one of the first sections of the international organisation since its establishment in 1953 and reformation in 2003 with the support of Bologna University and a central role played by Gotti, has supported reading promotion initiatives with a particular attention to remote or disadvantaged areas, alongside promoting the work of the best Italian authors, illustrators, translators and editors, by nominating them to the prestigious international awards such as the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the IBBY Honour List, the Biennial of Illustrations of Bratislava and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Highlighting the importance of illustrations in children’s books, irrespective of the era they were written in, Gotti said: “I would like to mention the Adventures of Pinocchio, which wasn’t a literary novel but just a tale in a children’s magazine. It took Italy time to realise that it was seeing a masterpiece in the making. There was no king or queen, just a wooden doll with a long nose. His iconic illustrations depict the passage of time, technological developments, the transformation of images from black and white to colour, and so on. In essence, what I am saying is, the language of images is as old and culturally important as the written novel itself.”

“We have met some close friends and made some new ones in just one day here in Sharjah. The introduction of IBBY Italy in the UAE is the start of a new era of cultural collaboration between the two nations, and we have a lot of work to do together. To me this story is an endless story; it is a story of hope,” she added.

Elena Pasoli shed light on the role of IBBY Italy in helping Bologna Book Fair become one of the most prominent literary events for children in the western world. She said: “Bologna Book Fair was established in 1964. The two organisations, Bologna Book Fair and IBBY Italy are somehow sisters. We have learnt a lot from them; the fact that they were involved with the fair from the very beginning helped us understand the importance of a dialogue between cultures. Today, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is not just about the business of selling and exchanging copyrights. It is a meeting place for ideas, for the birth of new projects, and a lot more about the cultural side of literature and society.”

Terrusi too highlighted the importance of pictures in children’s books, and took the audience through a series of illustrations which were contributed by leading Italian artists to IBBY Italy. “Through claims like ‘with books you grow up’, by authors like Beatrice Masini who is part of  the Italian delegation to the UAE this year helped, or ‘with books we grow up free’, IBBY Italy express itself and reach out to the international community,” she said.

Terrusi added: “The central idea of IBBY Italy is to build bridges between cultures, a goal we share with  the UAEBBY, to build tools and exchange stories in order to build a new world. Being the guest of honour in Sharjah is historic for us.”

Al Shamsi said she was brought up in a multicultural environment from an early age when her mother of Italian origin gave her a copy of Pinocchio to read in Arabic.

She said: “We see silent books as a bridge between cultures as they encourage every child to celebrate their individual interpretation and tell the stories as they see them. Currently, we are working on stories that have their basis in the Arabic heritage and at the same time appeal to young sensibilities. I thank the UAEBBY for all their efforts. I hope they will be able to contribute more effectively to the silent books landscape locally and regionally by encouraging more authors and illustrators to create content in this genre of literature.”

Lecture on Silent Books by Dr Marcella Terrusi at Sharjah University

Another activity by IBBY Italy as part of the GoH programme was a lecture on silent books by Dr Terrusi that was delivered to students of the College of Fine Arts and Design at University of Sharjah.

She said: “I had the honour and pleasure of being invited to the University of Sharjah. I was amazed by the architecture of the university – it really tells me something about the future of education and the new direction in which the world is going. I come from Bologna where the university of the west was born, so it was truly emotional for me to be able to see how much the institution has evolved.

“The students I addressed were very interested in the subject of silent books, and what I did was give these students a little taste of what I do with bigger communities during wordless book reading sessions as a researcher of wordless books.”

Upon being asked how does one read a wordless book, Terrusi remarked: “The physical book gives you direction. When you read what’s on a page and create your hypothesis, you know if you are right when you turn the page. You fill gaps in silent books with your own imagination, which is not much different from what you do in case of the written novel. Most importantly, what a wordless book does is change the hierarchy between readers. This is what I loved about my lecture this afternoon. Everyone contributed with their impressions and ideas, we co-constructed the meaning of several books that define the modern genre Italian wordless books.”

The UAEBBY Guest of Honour programme is organised this year in partnership with the Italian General Consulate in the UAE, and ICE School Dubai.

In hosting IBBY Italy as Guests of Honour at SCRF, the UAEBBY encourages new relationships with different sections of IBBY, inspires local talent to explore new literary cultures, and promotes a culture of reading across the UAE’s many diverse communities.

The UAEBBY’s “Guest of Honour” initiative, which began in 2015 seeks to cultivate new relationships with different IBBY sections, allow local talent to learn from the experience of international experts, and encourage reading among UAE’s diverse communities. As it is known, the UAE is a multicultural country and this initiative hopes to embody this sprit.

In April of each year, during the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, the UAEBBY hosts a different IBBY section. As a part of their visit they have their own section in the UAEBBY’s stand to display their work and do readings, workshops, and more. The guests include a writer, illustrator, and representative of the IBBY section.

UAEBBY is the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Operating in more than 77 countries, IBBY is the main board based in Switzerland and founded in 1953. The organisation is an international network of institutions and individuals from around the world who are committed to promoting and encouraging the culture of reading and bringing children and books together.

UAEBBY Hosts IBBY Italy as Guest of Honour during SCRF 2018

As the home of one of Europe’s most innovative artistic cultures, several Italian literature experts will be attending the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2018 (SCRF) as the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY)’s Guests of Honour.

The festival, organised by Sharjah Book Authority, runs from April 18–28 at Expo Centre Sharjah, and is the jewel in the crown of children’s literature events in the region. The delegation from Italy, including Dr. Marcella Terrusi, Representative of the Italian Board on Books for Young People (IBBY Italy) will take part in panel discussions, storytelling and book signings at the UAEBBY stand.

Accompanying Dr. Terrusi are well-known author Beatrice Masini, who has produced over ten books in children’s literature and won the prestigious Andersen Prize as “best children’s author of the year in 2004”; and young illustrator Andrea Antinori, who shared the Andersen prize for “best book 6/9 years” with other celebrated Italian publishers and authors. A collection of the celebrated works by them will be showcased at the UAEBBY stand, and several storytelling sessions and other book activities around them will be organised for children during the festival.

Elena Pasoli, Manager of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and children’s book expert Grazia Gotti are also part of the Italian delegation to the UAE.

In hosting IBBY Italy as Guests of Honour at SCRF, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, the UAEBBY encourages new relationships with different sections of IBBY, inspires local talent to explore new literary cultures, and promotes a culture of reading across the UAE’s many diverse communities.

The Guest of Honour programme is being organised by the UAEBBY in partnership with the Italian General Consulate in the UAE, and the Dubai-based multilingual international school, International Concept for Education (ICE), which opened their Italian section ‘Da Vinci’ in 2016.

Welcoming this collaboration between the two national sections of the IBBY, Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai, said: “IBBY Italy’s participation at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival as the UAEBBY’s guest of honour is another big step in furthering cultural cooperation between the UAE and Italy. We are pleased to facilitate this collaboration between the two cultures to benefit and enrich young minds with a variety of new literary experiences, which will broaden their horizons, enable them to experience a different culture, and develop appreciation for diversity at a young age.”

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said: “Italy has played a key role in the evolution of European literature and has inspired countless generations from a tremendous range of cultures. To be able to tap into such a rich history is enormously beneficial to the children, regional authors, illustrators, and publishers who attend the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival”.

“The initiative also has major benefits to the Guest of Honour country, who will be able to engage directly with their target audience and explore the similarities and differences in reading cultures. For UAEBBY, there is an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences with other international sections and gain in-depth insights into literature from around the world.”

During their visit, the Italian representatives will meet with Emirati authors and illustrators, take part in a cultural tour to the emirate of Sharjah, and attend the opening ceremony of the Italian Library.

The UAEBBY’s “Guest of Honour” initiative, which began in 2015 seeks to cultivate new relationships with different IBBY sections, allow local talent to learn from the experience of international experts, and encourage reading among UAE’s diverse communities. As it is known, the UAE is a multicultural
country and this initiative hopes to embody this sprit.

In April of each year, during the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, the UAEBBY hosts a different IBBY section. As a part of their visit they have their own section in the UAEBBY’s stand to display their work and do readings, workshops, and more. The guests include a writer, illustrator, and representative of the IBBY section.

UAEBBY is the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Operating in more than 77 countries, IBBY is the main board based in Switzerland and founded in 1953. The organisation is an international network of institutions and individuals from around the world who are committed to promoting and encouraging the culture of reading and bringing children and books together.

Preserving The Cultural Heritage – Presentation Of The “Books – Made In Uae” Collection Of Emirati Folk Tales

With Ute Krause, Ameera Bin Kadra, Nadia Al Najjar, and Abdulla Al Sharhan

Moderated by Iman Bin Chaiba

Folk tales are vital in shaping the cultural memories of individuals and communities. They help to connect generations with their national identity and chronicle the various achievements made by their ancestors on tangible and moral levels. It is through folk tales that people can find common bonds within their society and foster a sense of belonging. As part of their sixth edition of the “Books – Made in UAE” initiative, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the Goethe-Institut have launched a collection of Emirati folk tales for children. In a series of workshops under the supervision of German children’s book author and illustrator Ute Krause, 10 Emirati children’s book authors have collected 16 folk tales from their culture and rewritten them to make them attractive for children. Emirati illustrator Abdulla Al Sharhan has illustrated the stories. In this session, Ute Krause and the workshop participants will speak about their experiences during the creative process and what preserving the cultural heritage by keeping oral traditions alive means to them.

DETAILS

Language: In Arabic/English with translation.
Price: Free Entry
info@uaebby.org.ae