EPA promotes Arab-Chinese cultural exchange in China
November 21, 2023 / 12:03 PM
Sharjah24: The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) participated in the tenth edition of the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF), which returned for the first time since its suspension due to COVID-19. The fair opened avenues for readers to explore captivating worlds through books and provided a platform for publishing professionals to build networks and exchange experiences. The exhibition was launched at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre on 17 November and continued until the 19th.
The association was represented at the exhibition by a delegation that included Abdullah Al Kaabi, Emirati writer, President of the Emirates Publishers Association Board, and Founder of Al Ramsa Publishing House. To Al Kaabi, language and dialects build bridges of communication between cultures, which is why he established the Al Ramsa Institute to teach the Emirati dialect to non-native speakers; he also published numerous books in this field. Additionally, he worked on translating several works of international classical literature into the Emirati dialect, such as ‘The Little Prince.’ Through this participation, Al Kaabi sought to acquire some Chinese classics for translation into the Emirati dialect to strengthen cultural communication between the two countries.
The delegation also included Abdulla Alsharhan, Co-founder and Creative Director of Ajyal Publishers and Secretary & Member of The Board at EPA, who has had a distinctive mark in children’s literature since he began his publishing journey in 2003, writing over 20 children’s books that are now integral to the educational curriculum. He has also received several awards in recognition of his outstanding contributions to children’s literature and his commitment to promoting literacy and a love for reading in the UAE. These include an accolade at the seventh edition of the Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic Language Award in the ‘Best Initiative for Teaching and Learning Arabic in Early Education’ category, recognising the publishing house’s pioneering ‘One Book for You and One Day of Study for Us’ initiative. He was also recognised at the Sharjah Children’s Book Award for his book ‘Tale of Two Colors’ and was the recipient of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), in the ‘Picture Book’ category for the book ‘An Elephant on My Finger.’
Commenting on this participation, Al Kaabi said, “At the EPA, we believe that international book fairs, such as the CCBF in China, serve as crucial platforms for fostering cultural exchange with civilisations worldwide. Therefore, our involvement in this exhibition was driven by the goal of showcasing the cultural richness and creativity of the UAE, renowned for its ancient civilisation, to the Chinese audience. Moreover, we sought to bolster the presence of Emirati publishing houses in international cultural arenas, highlighting their contributions and facilitating opportunities for collaboration with publishers from across the globe.”
He added: “Through our participation, we also aimed to fortify the lines of communication connecting Emirati publishers with their counterparts in the People’s Republic of China and across the globe. Additionally, we endeavoured to offer our authors specialising in children’s and young adult literature a platform to showcase their creative talents and promote their works in this genre to the Chinese audience while gaining insights from significant global experiences.
The uniqueness of this exhibition within the Asia-Pacific region, solely dedicated to children’s books and content, was particularly notable. It holds a prominent position in the realm of copyright exchange for children’s books, presenting a valuable opportunity for Emirati publishers to engage in fruitful agreements in this domain.”