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SHARJAH (STaff Report) – The love of storytelling was the subject of a cultural session called “The Magic of Tale … Imagination Development” yesterday (Friday) featuring world class, award winning writers at the 34th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair 2015 taking place the Expo Centre from 4-14 November.


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Ben Okri, the Booker Prize winning author of The Famished Road, whose work has been translated into 26 languages; Joan Bauer, author of  twelve novels for young adults and a New York Times Best-selling writer and Dr. Mohammed Al Mansi Qandil, an Egyptian nationalist writer who has produced numerous works took part in the session looking at the magic that is created through creative imagination and skill in constructing the scenes and events of the tale that are based on characters, places and objects.

Joan Bauer described this process through a story. She said, “A huge uncut diamond was brought to the UK and inspected. A diamond in the rough is not a beautiful sparkling object but more like a stone. The greatest diamond cutter in the land was found and he spent two weeks examining and inspecting and measuring this diamond. Finally he got out a huge hammer and with one big blow, hit the diamond with full force to the horror of spectators.

Dr. Mohammed Al Mansi Qandil said that writing about Egypt and its people was very natural to him. “I was brought up in a working class area and there was always a kind of turmoil and upheaval between workers and the ruling authority. I grew up smelling the tear gas with a sense of rebellion and revolt everywhere which had an impression on me. The writer talks about his own experience although the imagination saves you from the bitter reality of political disturbances and religious conflict. In every story there is a testimony, an outlet for the difficulties of life.”