One of SIBF’s youngest authors shows soul as well as skill on 3rd day

  • Justina Jibin, 9, says all profits must go to charity
  • Second phase of literary initiative to be rolled out in 2018
  • The fair also features a ‘storytelling puppet’ workshop for young authors and illustrators

SHARJAH – One of the youngest authors at Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2017, taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah until 11 November, has promised that all proceeds of her book would go to orphanages and homes for the elderly.

Nine-year-old Justina Jibin has been writing since she was seven and presented her book in front of 50 fans and admirers who stayed for autographs and a signed copy of ‘My Imaginary World,’ a collection of three poems and nine stories, some of them illustrated by the young writer as well.

While writing may be her number one choice, Justina says there are other possibilities as well: “I would also consider being a doctor so that I could help as many people as possible, but for now writing is my true passion. I just think that if can achieve my ambitions, then other children can also achieve theirs.”

Justina Jibin presenting her book on the 3rd day of SIBF 2017.

‘1001 Titles’ Initiative

Meanwhile, the ‘1001 Titles’ – an initiative by the Sharjah-based Knowledge with Borders (KwB) – dedicated to supporting the publication of original Arabic language books by UAE-based publishers, announced the successful completion of the first phase.

Over two years since it was launched in 2016, the project has published 1,001 first-edition Arabic titles that represent a variety of subjects and genres.

Part of the 1001 Titles supported by the initiative.

The announcement was made at the ‘1001 Titles’ pavilion at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2017), which is currently celebrating its 36th edition at Expo Centre Sharjah.

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Majd Al Shehhi, Manager of the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative, said: “At 1001 Titles, we continually work towards furthering the cultural and intellectual achievements of the emirate of Sharjah. Thanks to the unparalleled support of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the first phase of the initiative has been a big success where we reached our target of publishing 1,001 new high-quality Arabic titles.

Majd Al Shehhi, Manager of ‘1001 Titles’ initiative.

“We are gearing up to launch the initiative’s second phase in the first quarter of 2018, where the next 1,001 titles will include 301 by local authors, and 700 by publishers that are members of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA). With an estimated budget of AED 5 million, the second phase will be implemented over 2018 and 2019. Both Emirati authors & Publishers are welcome to submit their applications directly to the initiative’s management,” she added.

‘1001 Titles’ pavilion at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

The first 1,001 titles of the initiative include 775 children and young adult books, 165 on literature, 20 books on human development, nine titles on religion, six books on law, four books on poetry, three titles on administration, two on history and 17 others on miscellaneous topics. All books have received a fantastic reception by publishers, readers and distributors.

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The initiative’s allocated budget of AED 5 million was distributed among participating titles, which were funded either partially or entirely based on their quality and importance. The initiative also provided marketing and publicity services to authors and publishers at book fairs, as well as local, Arab and international cultural festivals.

Logo of the 1001 Titles initiative.

In April 2017, the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative launched a consultancy service for publishers in collaboration with DEAIFIS Advocates & Legal Consultants to provide UAE-based local and regional Arabic publishing houses with consultancy and support, and strengthen the legal environment for the publishing sector in the UAE. It includes a package of premium consultancy services, most notably drafting and reviewing author contracts, provision of legal consultancy on copyrights, and conflict resolution regarding issues of intellectual property rights.

Themed ‘Nurturing Talent to Enrich Content’, the 1001 Titles is an initiative launched by KwB in February 2016, under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and President of the Emirates Publishers Association and Head of the KwB Organizing Committee. The first phase of the initiative aimed to publish 1,001 first-edition Arabic books, enhancing the UAE’s collective intellectual product and ensuring the sustainability of the publishing industry in the country and beyond. The initiative also supported Emirati authors to write more books, facilitate publishing houses and increase their competitiveness on regional and global scales.

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‘Storytelling Puppet’ workshop

A unique ‘storytelling puppet’ workshop at Sharjah International Book Fair, is teaching budding authors and illustrators how to create their own tales by sewing and knitting characters into a felt book.

The ‘Storytelling Puppet’ workshop at SIBF 2017.

The youngsters, aged between 5-12 years old, are given a basic ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ material storybook where the fox tricks the little girl into taking a flower to her grandmother’s house. The children are given the first page, but the rest they must make up for themselves by arranging and knitting the characters into place.

The ‘Storytelling Puppet’ workshop at SIBF 2017.

Organised by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan Association for Future Generation, the workshop excites the children’s imagination and inspires them to be more creative.