EBBY Board In Action: Yasmine Motawy on the Growing Space for Arabic Literature for Young People, Globally
Arabic Literature (in English) drew the spotlight on EBBY's Yasmine Motawy, who has been selected as one of the judges this year for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Read their interview with Motawy here, as she discusses the Hans Christian Andersen Awards, the Egyptian nominee Affaf Tobbala, and the important role that EBBY seeks to play in the emerging space for children's literature in Egypt.
Today IBBY has announced the Shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. This year EBBY is particularly proud to have had a juror from Egypt as well as a nominee for best author.
EBBY board member, Yasmine Motawy was selected by IBBY's Executive Committee at the Bologna Book Fair to sit on the ten person jury, and EBBY confidently selected celebrated Egyptian author Affaf Tobbala as its nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Those nominated and shortlisted represent the best of what each national literature has to offer and their books will receive international attention through IBBY activities and participation in international book fairs and congresses. EBBY wishes them all the heartiest congratulations.
The shortlist for 2016 is:
Authors: Cao Wenxuan from China, Louis Jensen from Denmark, Mirjam Pressler from Germany, Ted van Lieshout from the Netherlands and Lois Lowry from the USA.
Illustrators: Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany, Pejman Rahimizadeh from Iran, Alessandro Sanna from Italy, Suzy Lee from the Republic of Korea and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands.
The criteria used to assess the nominations included the aesthetic and literary quality as well as the freshness and innovation of the body of work; the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity; and the continuing relevance of the works to children and young people. The Award is based on the entire body of work.
After the meeting, the president of the jury, Patricia Aldana said, “It was remarkable to work with such an accomplished jury. Despite coming from so many different cultures and backgrounds there was a surprising degree of consensus. And it was a highly enjoyable process for us all.”
The two winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference on 4 April 2016at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. The medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners during the 35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, 20 August 2016.
Very Best Wishes
The Egyptian Board on Books for Young People
Yasmine Motawy, Balsam Saad and Dina Elabd of EBBY were in attendance at the Informal Education conference in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on October 12-13. Balsam Bookstore was the event's sponsor, and visitors crowded around the publisher's beautiful books, taking particular note of the latest publications. Motawy chaired a stimulating session on Animation & Multimedia’s impact on Children’s Education. The conference was an excellent opportunity to meet those interested in supporting, developing and innovating in the area of informal education in Egypt and the region.
Other IBBY notables were Hasmig Chahinian, from IBBY France who spoke on "Bringing Children and Books Together" and delighted the audience with cognitive research that shows how we can create a special bond between children and books and get a child's brain to categorize reading as a “pleasurable thing” that should be repeated.
Abdel Tawab Youssef was a pioneer of children's literature in Egypt and a recipient of many state awards for his contribution to children's literature. He was a prolific writer who wrote short stories, plays and novels, researched and lectured on children's culture in the Arab world. His work has affected generations of children, writers and illustrators of children's books and his loss will be mourned.
EBBY President, Professor Nadia El Kholy presented a paper titled "The Possibility/Impossibility of Translating Alice in Wonderland into Arabic" at the Wonderland Week Conference held from the 15th to the 19th of September at Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
This paper deals with the difficulties of translating Alice in Wonderland into Arabic, and how the ingenious play with words will/will not be lost in translation.
Wonderland Week celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015 and to commemorate Lewis Carroll's legacy, Wonderland Week features academic discussions, performances and adaptations, ... and tea parties.
Since 2012, EBBY has found a tremendously compatible patron in the Shoura Foundation for Development. EBBY’s Nevine Rateb sits down to talk to Shoura chairperson Dr. Olfat El Shiaty.
Nevine Rateb: Why did Shoura Foundation decide to support EBBY?
Dr. Olfat El Shiaty: We did not want Egypt to miss the role EBBY was playing until it was frozen in 2011. We want to sponsor and incubate EBBY until it can stand on its own, with or without our help. We are happy and honored to be able to support this important nurturer of Egyptian youth.
Rateb: Could you tell us in a nutshell what Shoura does?
El Shiaty: Shoura foundation helps in redirecting and correcting Egypt's education, which has been severely neglected in the past few years. If it were not for the social responsibility and human development foundations (of which Shoura is one) things could have been much worse.
Rateb: How did Shoura start and why?
El Shiaty: As a professor working at Cairo University I saw how graduates were lacking in substance that would give them potential and skill to know that nurtured minds and developed characters were essential working skills.
Rateb: In what areas do you see the education system in Egypt lacking?
El Shiaty: Egyptian graduates lack:
Rateb: What is Shoura's role in developing the education system?
El Shiaty: Shoura does its best to help in developing the education system in whichever of its components by :
Rateb: How has Shoura actually helped?
El Shiaty: We have a huge training centre in Tanta (mid-Delta) where we sponsor training programs set between 6 to 8 weeks and provide:
Rateb: Where do you see the intersections between EBBY and Shoura?
El Shiaty: One of many ways is this: Shoura is involved with the Ministry of Education in developing the education curriculum. We see EBBY getting involved in developing and advising on books for this at different educational stages.
Another way Shoura could help EBBY is to connect them to the different centers in Upper Egypt where Shoura is already involved with internship programs. The possibilities are endless.
Rateb: What are Shoura’s short term plans for EBBY in 2015?
El Shiaty: We plan to sponsor competitions and provide a space for them whenever required.
Interview by EBBY's Dr. Nevine Rateb
رسم كل من الطلاب ما سيتوقعونه في مخيلتهم من شكل المبنى إلى تنظيم المكان وأيضاً أعداد الأطفال، ولكن ما وجدوه فاجأهم. رغم قدم المبنى ولكن كان في غاية النظام، كل من الطوابق ينتمي إلى مجلة وقد كانت مجلة سمير في الطابق الثاني. تفاعل الطلاب مع الأطفال وفي ثواني كان الجميع في حالة إندماج
من أراء إحدى الطلاب كانت تتمحور حول ضرورة هذه الرحلة ومدى فعاليتها لجميع الطلاب. حيث أن طلاب الجامعة في هذه الأيام محصورين في فقاعة، وهي فقاعة تتكون من أفراد مجتمعهم الخاص والجامعي فقط. هذا النوع مع التفاعل مع الأطفال جداً مهم فيه منفعة للأطفال وهؤلاء الطلاب أيضاً. رؤية مواهب هؤلاء الأطفال ومدى فخر ودعم أهاليهم لهم كان شيئاً عظيماً
تمنح مجلة سمير هؤلاء الأطفال فرصة ذهبية لتنمية قدراتهم وتشارك في نمو وتقدم مهارتهم العقلية. من المهم وجود ثقافات اجتماعية كهذه في زمننا الحاضر لأن الأطفال هم مستقبل مصر، وليست مصر فقط بل هم مستقبل العالم أجمعه. شكرا سمير
يسمين مطاوع و ساره السيد
On the 21st of April from 8.30-9.30, EBBY engaged in a twitter #EBBY_TALKS discussion where YA readers who had read E. Lockhart's (@elockhart) YA winner of the "Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction" We Were Liars discussed the book on twitter using hashtags #WeWereLiars and #EBBY_TALKS.
Here are some of the tweets and we hope to have an #EBBY_TALKS twitter discussion soon, on a book from Egypt.
The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children's books. Given every other year by IBBY, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards recognize lifelong achievement and are given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature.
EBBY's Yasmine Motawy has been selected by IBBY's Executive Committee to sit on the ten person 2016 Jury. Motawy is a children's literature scholar and translator, and Senior Instructor at the American University in Cairo.
EBBY has also nominated Egyptian author Affaf Tobbala for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Tobbala has worked in Egyptian Television as a director, screenplay writer and producer, and only started writing for children in 2005 at the age of 64. She earned a PhD in Mass Communication from Cairo University in 1996 and has been teaching Television and Documentary Production to undergraduates and professionals since 1987.
In 2005 she collaborated with renowned painter, Adly Rezkallah, to produce her first book The Silver Fish, which was given an honorable mention in the New Horizon's category of the Ragazzi Award, and received the Egypt's Award for Children's Literature (then called the Suzanne Mubarak prize). Since then she has published over a dozen books for different age groups. A number of her books were selected for distribution to primary and middle school libraries on the national level and her first novel, The House and the Palm Tree, was included in the Arabic Language curriculum at a number of high schools.
For more information, visit the www.ibby.org website.
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