Doha, 20 Jan. 2022
By Ashraf Siddiqui
The Minister of Culture, Government of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, graced the recent launch ceremony of two Arabic-translated books of Gianni Rodari, Italian legendary writer, innovative author, educational expert and winner of prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1970 (considered the Nobel Prize for children’s literature genre).
‘La torta in cielo’ (The cake in the sky) and Fiabe lunghe un sorriso (Tales long a smile) have been translated into Arabic by Italian embassy in Qatar with the cooperation of Ministry of Culture, Government of Qatar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador of Italy to the State of Qatar, Alessandro Prunas said, “We are particularly proud of our pavilion at the Doha International Book Fair. This year’s will be the first edition featuring an institutional Italian participation and we have chosen to bet on younger generations. Indeed, both Italy and Qatar give great importance to education and promotion of children’s potential and rights, and I think that our intense program during the fair fits perfectly within our shared policies and ambitions towards childhood.”
The Italian booth at the 31st Doha International Book Fair is entirely dedicated to children’s books as it’s hosting an exhibition of the works of Italian authors and illustrators of children’s books as well as readings and workshops.
The Italian pavilion is organised and managed in cooperation with ‘Reggio Children’, a leading Italian organisation in the field of early childhood education and children’s rights promotion, known in the world for its educational project the ‘Reggio Emilia Approach’, which develops and renews itself every day in Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools.
According to the Italian embassy’s statement on the occasion, the main objective of the Italian booth is to introduce children to reading by offering them a space for active exploration and learning through Italian books, illustrations and workshops. Special attention is dedicated to introducing new methods, books and tools to educators.
The booth displays and sells a selection of children’s books published by Italian publishing houses or by Italian authors. The agenda includes a range of free-of-charge activities during the whole duration of the fair, including the workshop ‘Mosaic of Marks, Words, Materials’ and readings for children of books by Italian authors in English, Arabic and Italian languages. In addition, a selection of illustrations through pictures by 21 Italian artists realised by ‘Bologna Children’s Book Fair’’ is also on display at the Italian pavilion in Qatar for the first time.
A section at the booth is dedicated to displaying of “Out of silence. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, narrating through wordless books” by ‘Bologna Children’s Book Fair’. Talking to the writer at the booth at the book fair, Enrico Massa, First Secretary and Head of Cultural and Media Section, embassy of Italy, said that by their very nature, wordless books communicate with a combination of silence and volubility. “Their narrative format places them beyond language barriers, accessible to all readers. By reaching into emarginated corners, the silent book becomes a means of bringing the world together.”
Italian artist Enrica Pizzicori, who specializes in children’s illustrations and is the author of the booth’s main logo, is performing live digital painting sessions throughout the fair’s days.
For more information and registration, interested readers may contact through email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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