The Sharjah pavilion at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, in which the emirate is the guest of honor in its 59th session, witnessed a dialogue session organized by “Culture Without Borders” that discussed the impact of fiction and myths in building a child’s personality, enhancing his social affiliation, and developing his national identity with its human extensions.
The session was attended by Sheikha Mariam Al Qasimi, the novelist and owner of Aram Publishing, the writer and novelist Aisha Maghawar, Secretary-General of the Arab Forum for Publishers of Children’s Books, the Italian writer Garcia Goethe, member of the International Council of Children’s Books in Italy, and moderated by Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Culture Without Borders.
Sheikha Maryam Al Qasimi began her speech in the session by emphasizing the similar images and values in fantasy stories from all cultures, and said: “We were all brought up on fantasy stories, whether they were Arabic or translated from other languages, and despite the differences in the details of the stories due to the specificity of the environment or the social structure, However, they are essentially similar in terms of the mission, purpose, and noble values that they establish, and this is what makes fiction stories a means to develop the national character in its human dimensions.
Mariam Al Qasimi continued: “The writer specializing in children’s books should monitor the gaps left by the prevailing publications, so I focus in my writing on reviving old professions and crafts that have disappeared with time and due to industrial and technical progress. The craft and profession reflect the nature of society and its relations in a certain era, which makes it An integral component of the national cultural identity.
In her intervention during the session, the Italian writer Gracia Goethe said: “Since we are discussing the importance of fantasy stories directed to children in a cultural event hosted by Italy, it is necessary to mention the great Italian writer “Italo Calvino”, who adopted the project to collect fiction stories from different Italian regions and cities and document them to be A unified cultural and emotional reference for every child in Italy, to be translated into other languages for the world’s children and readers of all ages to see.”
On the importance of fantasy stories in developing the human dimension for children and young people alike, Goethe said: “Fantasy stories do not belong to the past, but continue with us and will remain in the future as well because they are symbols used by humans to stimulate their courage, energy and ambition in the face of reality, so they are closely linked with reality. It is close, in addition to that it strengthens the relationship not between man and man, but transcends beyond that to reach the stage of consolidating the relationship between man and various human states such as fear, love, anxiety and hope.
Goethe concluded her intervention by saying: “I am very impressed with Arab culture and what the Emirate of Sharjah represents in particular, and I aspire to open a multilingual library in the emirate in which I collect the best books for children and young people from different countries and cultures of the world.”
In turn, Aisha Maghawar said: “Imagination stories are not only entertainment, but an effective and indirect way to learn, develop values and modify behavior for children and adults alike. It is not an absolute fantasy as everyone knows, but rather a summary of individual and collective human experiences alike, which makes it an intensification of history. His knowledge and his knowledge.
Maghawar continued: “The stories in general have become therapeutic spaces that deal effectively with cases of anxiety, tension and confusion, as proven by various scientific studies, which makes them necessary to build a balanced and creative personality capable of dealing skillfully with the challenges it faces, in addition to developing family ties. society and contribute significantly to creativity and individual and collective initiative towards various national and humanitarian issues.”
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