The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has unanimously accepted UAE as a National Section on its board.
The application was sent by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi’s and being on the IBBY, it would enhance the office’s initiatives for providing educational and entertaining quality Arabic children’s literature.
The IBBY is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. It was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953 and today is composed of 70 National Sections all over the world.
The membership of the National Sections typically include authors and illustrators, publishers and editors, translators, journalists and critics, teachers, university professors and students, librarians and booksellers, social workers and parents.
The UAE’s representation as a National Section will take effect on 1 January 2010, making it a full member with all voting and nomination rights.
Sheikha Bodour, who is Chairperson of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) and founder of Arabic children’s book publisher Kalimat, on this occasion said, "I believe it is very important that we encourage children to develop a love for reading and a lifelong passion for Arabic literature. This is why I decided to found Kalimat in 2007, to ensure that good quality Arabic children’s books were available, and why I made the application to IBBY, with the support of the relevant associations in the UAE." In the letter confirming the acceptance of Sheikha Bodour’s application, Liz Page, Executive Director of IBBY, said, "We look forward to working closely with you and congratulate you on becoming part of our international network of professionals dedicated to promoting international understanding through books. I am sure that you will make many contributions to IBBY’s important work and hope that we will be able to help you realize some of your expressed goals as members of IBBY."
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