UAE’s folk tale tradition and silent books market showcased at Sao Paulo Book Fair

SAO PAULO, The national section of the International Board on Books for Young People, IBBY, has flown to Brazil with a number of folk tales and silent books from the country, to share them at one of the Latin world’s most prominent cultural events, the 25th Sao Paulo International Book Fair.

The UAEBBY organised two discussions on folk tales and silent books (known as imagine books in Brazil) as part of Sharjah’s cultural programme at the publishing biennial, which celebrated the emirate and its cultural achievements as the fair’s guest of honour.

The first session investigated the history of folk tales in the UAE’s oral tradition, its sources and types. Moderated by Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, the panel comprised Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, and Marco Haurelio, author and Brazilian folk tale specialist.

The session explored characteristics of folk tales and offered the audience a detailed account of the types that originated in the UAE and the role they play in fostering the values that were instilled in the local community. The similarities between folk tales and heritage stories from around the world and its diverse representations within the cultural context of a community and nation were also highlighted.

The panel shed light on the role played by the UAEBBY in documenting and publishing folk tales, and underscored the timeless educational and cultural value of folklore in the way it is passed down to every generation, which forms common bonds of identity and community ethics based on their positive values and messages.

The panel on “Silent Books” featured Emirati author and publisher, Dr. Alyazia Alsuwaidi, illustrator Maya Fidaoui, and Brazilian illustrator, Roseangela Bizerra. The session was moderated by Brazilian publisher, Karine Pansa. They highlighted the key role of these illustration-only books in sparking children’s imagination and enhancing their capabilities.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said, “Sharjah’s participation at the Sao Paulo Book Biennial is another big effort by the emirate to build bridges of communication between cultures and promote cultural dialogue among civilisations.

The UAEBBY is committed to representing the UAE at all international cultural events and highlighting its achievements in children’s literature at national and regional levels. We are also shedding light on the UAE’s cultural initiatives and efforts to promote the publishing industry and foster exchanges among different people and civilisations.”

She explained that their participation is in line with Sharjah’s efforts to strengthen cultural cooperation between Brazil and the UAE, and offer Latin American publishers an opportunity to learn about the enormous potential of the UAE’s publishing market, as well as the history and authenticity of the UAE in general and Sharjah, in particular.

“We wanted to also highlight the emirate’s role in supporting imagine books industry as part of its efforts to promote cultural appreciation and humanitarian work,” Al Aqroubi added.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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