Italian Consul General to Dubai opens UAE’s 1st Italian library

SHARJAH, 24th April, 2018 (WAM) — The Consul General of Italy in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Valentina Setta, has opened the first Italian library in UAE.

The UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, contributed several books to the library, which will form part of the International Concept for Education campus.

Attending the opening from Italy were Dr. Marcella Terrusi, representative of the Italy Board on Books for Young People, IBBY Italy, the 2018 Guest of Honour Country of the UAEBBY; Elena Pasoli, Manager of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; Grazia Gotti, children’s books expert and co-founder of the children’s bookshop, Giannino Stoppani; children’s author, Beatrice Masini, and children’s book illustrator, Andrea Antinori.

The UAEBBY Guest of Honour programme this year was organised in collaboration with the Italian General Consulate in the UAE and ICE Dubai.

Dr. Terrusi spoke at the opening on the importance of the library and how its founding would enhance cultural ties. She added that while UAEBBY was a relatively young chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People. Its enthusiasm, ambition and significant achievements through its projects and campaigns were an inspiration to other branches of the organisation.

She also emphasised the common goal of bringing children and books together to create a generation of avid readers.

As this year’s Guest of Honour, IBBY Italy has had an excellent opportunity to connect with the Italian community in the UAE and has played a prominent role in the 10th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, SCRF, which runs until 28th April at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Forming part of the Guest of Honour programme during SCRF, Masini said that cultural ties with the UAE are closer than ever before.

Widely recognised as one Italy’s most talented and prolific writers, publishers and translators of books for children and young adults, the literary expert described the cultural interaction between her home country and the UAE as a highly important relationship that both nations can nurture and cherish.

Masini, who translated five of the Harry Potter books to Italian, is also a representative of Italy IBBY and was invited to the UAE following UAEBBY’s participation at the 55th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, one of the publishing world’s most important events.

Following a storytelling session and book-signing event at SCRF for students from the International Concept for Education, Masini said, “It is extremely important to interact with other nations and see new perspectives, and I believe the cultural links we share with the UAE are becoming closer than ever. As a publisher as well as an author, I can also see that there are closer ties in trade terms as well and that is a relationship, which can also bring us together on another level.”

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