UAEBBY and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region announce 7th edition of ‘Books – Made in UAE’

SHARJAH, 3rd May, 2018 (WAM) — The UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region have announced that the 7th edition of their annual cultural collaboration, ‘Books – Made in UAE’, will focus on silent books, highlighting their effectiveness as a mine of information and imagination.

The textless books are proving to be more popular and more powerful than ever before in helping to stimulate children’s imaginations, as both the quantity of its practitioners and the quality of their creations increases.

A four-day workshop for 13 UAE-based artists will be conducted by multi-award winning German illustrator Katrin Stangl at the 1971 Design Space at Sharjah’s Flag Island from 5th – 8th May, where the participants will be given the opportunity to develop their own silent book ideas.


The annual UAEBBY and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region project, sponsored by Sharjah-based cultural initiative Knowledge without Borders, brings international experts to the UAE to expand the reach and ability of Emirati authors and illustrators of children’s books.

In the run-up to the workshop, the participants have been encouraged to think about topics that are connected to their everyday lives, such as special days celebrated in the UAE, animals living in a desert environment, myths, legends, individual experiences, famous places, or a collection of ideas and topics.

The workshop advice to students is to think ‘small and simple’ because the pictures will tell the true story and provide all the content that is needed.

Author and illustrator Katrin Stangl has won a host of some of the world’s most respected accolades including the Hans-Meid-Preis fur Buchillustration and received the bronze medal in the “Schonste Bucher aus aller Welt” (World’s Most Beautiful Books). Her latest publications, ‘Die Hauskatze ist selten eine Weibe’ (The Cat is Seldom White), and ‘Schwimmt Brot in Milch?’ (Does Bread Swim in Milk?), have received rave reviews.

Ms Stangl will work with the students on their drawing techniques and give them advice for drafting and finishing the pages. By the end of the course, every participant will have a complete storyline and at least two double-pages in full color.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said: “Silent books are an excellent medium to inspire children to use their imaginations, conveying a story in its simplest terms without the need for text to portray the same plots, messages and characters.

“Pictures and illustrations are universal, which not only helps children comprehend the stories relevant to their own community, it opens doors and bridges the gaps to other culture.”

Highlighting the importance of the UAEBBY and Goethe-Institut collaboration, Fareed Majari, General Manager of the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region, said, “The ‘Books – Made in UAE’ initiative is a wonderful chance to reinforce the relationship between German and UAE culture and enjoy a partnership where both nations can benefit from the others’ experience. The Gulf region is particularly important in helping us to continue that mutual cooperation, especially in Sharjah where this project has enabled us to work with some of the most talented up-and-coming artists looking to make their own mark in children’s literature.”

‘Books – Made in UAE’ supports the development of a sustainable local children’s book industry by training young and aspiring authors and illustrators in the creative process of producing children’s books in Emirati Arabic language. A group of the world’s leading authors and illustrators have participated in organising the project’s workshops in previous years. By 2013, six books, which were produced in the workshops were published and sold. In 2016, the project saw the publication of two books that were created in the 2014 workshops.

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