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

04:45 PM | 19 Apr, 2018
UAEBBY and IBBY Italy Shed Light on Children’s Book Culture
SHARJAH - 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-winning 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 realize 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 learned 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 book's 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 the 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 among readers. This is what I loved about my lecture this afternoon. Everyone contributed to 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 spirit.

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.



Pakistani rupee remains stable against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal and Dirham; Check forex rates

Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Friday.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Friday, the US dollar remained stable and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.

Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 8 December 2023

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.2 286.15
Euro EUR 308 311
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 362
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.4 78.1
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 757.23 765.23
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.89 40.29
Danish Krone DKK 41.19 41.59
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.41 36.71
Indian Rupee INR 3.42 3.53
Japanese Yen JPY 1.39 1.45
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 921.71 930.71
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 61.02 61.62
New Zealand Dollar NZD 174.54 176.54
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.05 26.35
Omani Riyal OMR 739.62 747.62
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 78.22 78.92
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.12 27.42
Swiss Franc CHF 324.94 327.44
Thai Bhat THB 8.06 8.21

Gold prices in Pakistan increase; Check out latest rates here

Gold price in Pakistan increased as the yellow metal witnessed an upward trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 8 December 2023

On Friday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,400 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,390.

Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,282, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs190,225 and 18k gold rate is Rs163,050 each tola.

In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Friday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

Today Gold Price in Pakistan (8 December 2023)

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Karachi PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Islamabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Peshawar PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Quetta PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sialkot PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Attock PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujranwala PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Jehlum PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Multan PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Bahawalpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujrat PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nawabshah PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Chakwal PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Hyderabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nowshehra PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sargodha PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Faisalabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Mirpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583


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