Ufuq opens registrations for Arabic children’s bookmakers

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Under the Ufuq platform, SBA will offer financial support of $1,500 to each participating illustrator for the production of one book.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter/ WAM

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has announced the opening of registrations for grants under its Children’s Book Makers Platform (Ufuq).

Arabic bookmakers including artists, authors, and illustrators can submit entries until March 1, 2022.

Winners will be announced at the upcoming edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

The Ufuq platform supports Arabic content creators in the children’s books sector to promote books that feature high quality visual content for children of all age groups, strengthen communication between publishers, authors, and illustrators, and keep pace with the latest trends and technological developments in the field.

Under the Ufuq platform, SBA will offer financial support of $1,500 to each participating illustrator for the production of one book.

Participating publishers and illustrators can receive support for up to a maximum of two books.

 Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SCRF, said: “One of the key goals of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is to support and improve children’s literature in the region and promote the development of all stakeholders in the sector including publishers, authors, and illustrators. The Ufuq platform provides a unique opportunity for bookmakers to compete and submit qualitative content that enriches Arab children’s libraries.”

General Coordinator of SCRF added: “Digital and technological advances are pushing the boundaries of production and content in the children’s book publishing industry, and illustrators are keeping pace with the trends to provide visually appealing content for children. Through the Ufuq platform, content creators receive the needed support to develop innovations in book format and design and strengthen partnerships between illustrators and publishers.”

To register on the Ufuq platform, applicants must submit a maximum of two unpublished books in PDF format via email to [email protected]

The Ufuq platform aims to connect children’s bookmakers from around the world to exchange knowledge and expertise to benefit and advance children’s literature both in the Arab region and internationally, and to provide a comprehensive database of stakeholders in the sector.

Recently, the SBA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Meeting for Friendship amongst Peoples (Rimini Meeting), Italy and Europe’s leading cross-cultural entity that hosts the world’s most notable thought and enlightenment leaders, to strengthen and create new channels of communication between Emirati, Arab and European cultures and launch bilateral initiatives and events to further advance literature, arts and the creative industries.

For more than 40 years, the Rimini Meeting – one of Europe’s most important cultural and literary events, has been bringing together presidents, world leaders, thinkers, scholars, artists, and intellectuals of every discipline and from across the world of culture, to exchange ideas and open dialogues for mutual enrichment.

The annual gathering, held on a 120,000 square metre area, attracts more than 800,000 people annually, including participation of tens of thousands of volunteers.

YouTube broadcasts of its activities has reached over 2.5 million viewers.

Prominent world personalities hosted at Rimini Meeting over the years include Pope Francis; Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former UN Secretary-General; Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany; and Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The Rimini Meeting has also convened American scholar and philosopher Naom Chomsky; French playwright Eugène Ionesco; Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky; and many Arab leaders and thinkers including Abdelaziz Bouteflika, former president of Algeria; Amr Musa, former minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt; Mostafa El Feki, diplomat and historian; Dr Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, scholar of Quranic studies; Usama Al Abd, academic; and Bishop Anba Ermia.

The MoU was signed by Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, and Emmanuele Forlani, Managing Director of Rimini Meeting, via a virtual meeting on the Zoom platform. The signing took place in the presence of Bernhard Scholz, President of Rimini Meeting; Marco Aluigi, Congress Manager of Rimini Meeting; Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fairs and Festivals, SBA; and Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales, SBA.

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