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Emirati named jury of top Italian publishing award

Staff Reporter/Sharjah
Filed on February 20, 2017 | Last updated on February 20, 2017 at 07.37 pm
 Marwa Al Aqroubi, the first Emirati to judge the top children’s publishing award.  Since its inception, 50 years ago, there has not been a single Arab author among the Braw jury.
Marwa Al Aqroubi, the first Emirati to judge the top children's publishing award. Since its inception, 50 years ago, there has not been a single Arab author among the Braw jury.

(Supplied photo)

This for the first time that an Emirati person has been invited to become a jury member of the annual Italian award.

Marwa Al Aqroub, a prominent Emirati writer will be the judge for this year's BolognaRagazzi Award (Braw), one of the most prestigious prizes in children's publishing.

This for the first time that an Emirati person has been invited to become a jury member of the annual Italian award.

Al Aqroubi, the president of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) Executive Board, who has extensive experience in the field of children's literature, evaluated more than 1,400 books for Braw, which acknowledges distinctively excellent children's books. The winners will be honoured during the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which will take place from 3-6 April 2017 in Italy.

Commenting on her appointment, Marwa Al Aqroubi said: "It was an honour and a privilege to be invited to be a judge for this year's BolognaRagazzi Award. My appointment reflects UAE's great achievements in communication with international cultural centres, as well as the remarkable advancement of the local cultural output regionally and internationally."

"Since its inception, 50 years ago, there has not been a single Arab author among the Braw's jury members. This is a unique experience, for me on a personal level, to be able to highlight the efforts of developing children's books in the Arab world in general and in the UAE in particular," she added.

Al Aqroubi is an accomplished writer in her own right. A prominent author in the field of children's literature, she has penned two titles; her first Ahmed El Helou (Sweet Ahmed) was published in 2010 and her second Goodbye Nana in 2014.

For many years Marwa Al Aqroubi has been a major driving force in promoting the love of literature to citizens in the UAE and beyond. Her passion for encouraging reading as the head of the UAEBBY has seen her set up numerous literature-related initiatives.

Among them include the 'Read, Dream, Create' campaign, launched in 2013 to encourage interaction between children and books. She is also a significant contributor to the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature, the Arab region's most prestigious literary award.

In addition, Al Aqroubi is committed to helping children across the world who experience hardship and who are unable to enjoy easy access to books. She is a member of the advisory committee for the Sharjah/IBBY Fund for Children in Crisis and launched the Kan Yama Kan initiative which provides quality books to children in need around the world.

Established in 1966, the Braw aims to honour excellence of a book's graphic layout, its format innovation and its overall ability to engage young readers. It provides winners with huge international publishing and copyright opportunities.

The BolognaRagazzi Award comprises fiction, non-fiction, new horizons, dedicated to books from countries where children's publishing is still in development; and 'Opera Prima,' which acknowledges first-time authors and illustrators. 

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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