EPA showcases Emirati literature at Bologna Children’s Book Fair

March 08, 2023 / 11:55 AM
During the event
Sharjah 24: Seeking to strengthen its participation in local and international cultural events and promote the UAE’s publishing industry, the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) is taking part in the 60th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, taking place 6 – 9 March in Bologna, Italy.
The association is showcasing a variety of publications for children, including literary, scientific, and educational books, both authored and translated, at its special pavilion. Emirati publishers, such as Aisha Al-Zaabi from Dar Al-Dhabi for Publishing, Nour Arab from Dar Al-Nour for Publishing, and Abdullah Al-Kaabi from Dar Al-Ramsa Publishing, are participating.

In addition, the association is facilitating a series of meetings between its representatives, Arab and international publishers, and intellectuals. These meetings aim to exchange expertise in the publishing industry, foster communication between Emirati and international publishers, and assist  those interested in establishing publishing companies in Arab markets.

Exchange of experiences
The Emirates Publishers Association is also participating in the ‘BolognaBookPlus’ activities, which offers in-depth training on rights selling, author representation and scouting. Through its stand there, the association seeks to give Emirati publishers a wider platform to trade books with general publishers beyond children’s books.

Rashid Al-Kous, Executive Director of the Emirates Publishers Association, said: “Our association’s participation in the 60th session of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen the presence of Emirati publishing houses in major international book fairs. We aim to promote our work and expand our strategic relationships with international peers to foster interaction between different cultures and human civilisations. Additionally, we aim to learn about the most important international experiences in producing children’s books.”

In a new initiative aimed at supporting the participation of Emirati publishing houses in local and international book fairs while keeping pace with the latest technologies, the association is now allowing its member houses not physically present at the exhibition to display their publications remotely. This can be done using QR codes, which allow for the conclusion of purchase and sale deals of publishing rights. Through this initiative, exhibition visitors can scan these codes and view the publications of 25 Emirati publishing houses, as well as remotely initiating deals with Emirati publishers and helping promote and spread Emirati content globally. This effort is part of the association’s ongoing efforts to introduce the publishing movement and the book industry in the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, the Emirates Publishers Association’s stand  will feature a Twitter wall and a mirror that allow visitors to interact by sharing the titles of their favourite books or novels on social media. Additionally, the pavilion will serve as a platform for publishers to communicate with association members and discuss opportunities for book circulation and translation possibilities, focusing on translating Emirati literature into international languages.

A celebration of women
As the exhibition coincides with International Women’s Day, the association celebrates the achievements of Emirati women writers, empowering them to compete, and encouraging them to leave their mark in the publishing sector.

This is reflected in the views of writer Aisha Al Zaabi, who acknowledges that Arab women, particularly Emirati women, have established their presence in the publishing industry thanks to the support provided by the UAE. The association works to enable Emirati publishers to overcome the challenges they face in the publishing market by providing various means of support. 

According to Al Zaabi, participating in international exhibitions, such as the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, is one of the ways in which the Emirates Publishers Association enables local publishers to market their publications and benefit from new experiences in bookmaking. Such exhibitions provide opportunities for local publishers to showcase their works and gain exposure to a wider audience, which can lead to increased recognition and sales.

Abdullah Al-Kaabi also commended the Emirates Publishers Association’s efforts to support the Emirati publishing industry, promote Emirati writers, and expand the reach of Emirati publishers both locally and internationally. The association also provides the necessary support for Emirati writers to participate in cultural forums at the Arab and international levels. He acknowledged the association’s active role in advancing the Emirati book industry through various qualifying and training programmes that enhance the efficiency of workers in the field. Additionally, he noted the association’s efforts to improve the conditions and laws of the profession and its focus on protecting all rights related to publishing, including intellectual property and translation.
March 08, 2023 / 11:55 AM

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