Speakers present their unpublished work through 'Made in UAE'
Menacing villains, mysterious creatures, alternative universes and teenage superheroes visited Sharjah International Book Fair last night as two emerging Emirati writers read excerpts from their unpublished young adult fantasy
novels to a rapt audience that included prominent members of the Emirati literary community. The selection of Arabic novels geared towards teenage readers is limited and science fiction themed adventures are rare.
Emirati authors like Alayzia Al Suwaidi and Shaikha Al Mehairi are truly making history. One audience member, an author herself, commended them for the courage it took for them to share fresh, unpublished writing out loud and reveal their secret imaginative worlds to the public for critique. It is a given that their completed novels will be found on bookshelves at future SIBF editions.
The work came about as the result of a workshop organized by “Made in The UAE,” a project for Emirati children’s book authors and illustrators, jointly established by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region that exists to encourage the creation of Emirati children’s books that reflect local values and culture and to cultivate Emirati literary talent.
Since Made in the UAE launched in 2011, multiple workshops have offered Emirati writers and illustrators exposure to talented instructors and many new books have been created, helping the country’s children to delight in reading and identify with heroes and heroines from their own rich heritage.