Read, Dream, Create campaign organises storytelling for Italian and Arab children

Exchanging Stories and Cultures: Children Brought together by the UAEBBY

The ‘Read, Dream, Create’ Campaign (RDC) by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) used the long-cherished method of narrative on Saturday to engage Arab and Italian children, and help them develop an understanding and appreciation of other’s cultures.

Children from the two nationalities were brought together at the Dubai Public Library in Mankhool for a series of interactive storytelling sessions featuring story collections in Italian and Arabic languages. These were conducted in Italian-language stories were read by HE Valentina Setta, Italian Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates, and the Arabic by Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY.

While promoting cultural exchange between the UAE and Italy, the campaign’s main goal of bringing youngsters and books together was fulfilled.

HE Valentina Setta said: “I would like to thank Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi for her continuous efforts in strengthening the cultural ties between Italy and UAE and in raising the awareness among the young children about the great importance of reading. The rich Italian and Arabic culture have so much to donate to the new generations and through these successful partnerships and initiatives, I am sure we will realize our mutual scopes in consolidating the human values furthermore; those values which are deeply rooted in both Italian and Arabic culture.”

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said: “In keeping with the UAEBBY’s vision, Read, Dream, Create Campaign has been working hard to present the allure of books to children in the most innovative ways. This stems from our belief that the book – even in a digital era – remains to be the life source of knowledge and holistic development.”

Al Aqroubi added: “We have good ties and strategic cooperation with the Italian Consulate and the Italian Board on Books for Young People (Italy IBBY), which was celebrated as the UAEBBY’s Guests of Honour at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2018 (SCRF). This collaboration has successful led to the launch of a host of cultural projects.”

At the end of the session, children were presented with several Kalimat–Gallucci publications including, My Feet by Lebanese author Fatima Sharafeddine; My Hands, a simple narrative about the usefulness of hands in our lives; and Close to My Home – a fun read about the important services and facilities in a neighborhood. Another book in the collection is about Ibn Sina, known as the greatest thinker, philosopher, scientist and physician of his time who made significant discoveries and contributions to the Islamic civilisation. The last one is titled, Aunt Osha, which is about a talkative woman of the same name. The story was also part of the readings, and was presented to the young listeners by Silvia Ciriello, Vice Consul at the Consulate General of Italy in Dubai.