The event is taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) until 22 January.
Young bookworms in Qatar can now unlock access to a vast collection of works by authors all the way from Italy at the 31st edition of the Doha International Book Fair (DIBF), when they visit the Italian embassy’s booth.
Dedicated entirely to children, Italy’s booth is one of the largest at the DIBF, displaying books written and illustrated by Italian authors, whilst providing young visitors with reading workshops to enrich their experience.
“We are particularly proud of our pavilion at the Doha International Book Fair […] this year’s will be the first edition featuring an institutional Italian participation and we have chosen to bet on younger generations,” said Italy’s Ambassador to Qatar, Alessandro Prunas.
The booth has already been visited by high profile officials in Qatar, including Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani.
“Both Italy and Qatar give great importance to education and the promotion of children’s potential and rights. I think that our intense programme during the fair fits perfectly within our shared policies and ambitions towards [preserving] childhood,” added Prunas.
The stand is organised and managed in cooperation with “Reggio Children”, a leading Italian organisation in the field of early childhood education and the promotion of children’s rights.
The organisation is globally known for its constantly developing educational project, “Reggio Emilia Approach”, commonly used at Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools.
Free workshops and exhibitions
Apart from introducing Doha’s youngsters to new books, the booth also aims to offer them the space to actively explore learning through Italian books and activities, providing educators with new methods and tools for teaching.
Amongst these activities is a workshop called “Mosaic of Marks, Words, Materials” and book reading sessions for children by Italian authors in English, Arabic and Italian.
An Arabic translation of two books by Italian writer Gianni Rodari, the 1970 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is the Nobel Prize for children’s literature, will be presented to visitors during the event.
The books include “La torta in cielo” (The Cake in the Sky) and “Fiabe lunghe un sorriso” (Fairy tales long a smile).
Visitors will also get the chance to access the exhibition “Illustrations for Gianni Rodari”, offering a selection of pictures illustrated by 21 Italian artists recognised by the “Bologna Children’s Book Fair”.
This is the first time the illustrations at the Italian pavilion are displayed in Qatar.
Additionally, 41 word-less books by Italian authors will be displayed at the “Out of silence. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, narrating through wordless books”, stand by the “Bologna Children’s Book Fair”.
World-less books are an approach that enable readers to join the author in creating the story’s narrative. The method has been used to tackle linguistic barriers to reach out to further segments within society.
Visitors will get the opportunity to explore the innovative story-telling method that Italian authors have experimented with over the years.
Furthermore, Italian artist Enrica Pizzicori, who specialises in children’s illustrations and author of the booth’s main logo, will be performing live digital painting sessions throughout the event.
Those wishing to visit can register through [email protected].