, Executive Director of the House of Wisdom in Sharjah and Chairperson of the UAE Council for Young People’s Literature, participated in the symposium “Young People’s Literature: The Song of the Coming from the Tunnel of the Present”, which was held as part of the cultural events accompanying the Jeddah International Book Fair 2022 with the aim of shedding light on the present and future Literature for young people in the Arab world and the challenges and difficulties associated with writing for this category.
During the symposium, which was also attended by the Lebanese poet and critic Abdo Wazen and the Egyptian writer Afaf Tabala, the speakers touched on the initiatives aimed at improving the book industry, spreading the culture of reading among children and adolescents, and building the capacities of workers in the field of making books for young people.
Marwa Al-Aqroubi spoke about the challenges faced by adolescent literature in the Arab world in terms of the lack of quality content, beauty of design and good output, noting that writing for adolescents is more difficult than writing for adults because it requires knowledge of the characteristics of the emotional and cognitive development of adolescents and knowledge of the topics that interest them.
She explained that the UAE decided to change this reality through the establishment of the Emirates Council for Books for Young People, chaired by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi. Since its inception in 2010, the Council has been keen to organize events and activities that instill a love of reading in the hearts of young people.
In this context, the “Etisalat Award for Children’s Book” was launched in partnership with Etisalat Company. This annual award contributed to the development of the process of selecting appropriate topics that enhance authentic values, develop the awareness of tomorrow’s generations, and motivate them to read. The award has witnessed an increasing demand for young people’s books to be presented by publishing houses. in Arab and foreign countries.
She emphasized that allocating specific programs such as the “Books – Made in the UAE” project and the “Workshop” program had contributed to discovering and nurturing new local and Arab talents in the field of children’s and youth books. It also helped hone their creative abilities and qualify them to create creative works in accordance with the best international standards.
Al-Aqroubi highlighted the relentless efforts made by the various institutions in the country, represented in the various initiatives, programs and events that aim to encourage reading and creativity, especially the “House of Wisdom” in Sharjah, which is keen to organize reading clubs and allocate space for reading for children and adolescents in an atmosphere that mixes education and entertainment. This contributes to bringing this category of books closer together and motivating them to continue learning and creativity.