Sharjah: An Arabic-language account of a day in the young life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was led by Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, during the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) .
The Arabic version of the children’s book, “Fridu, Friducha, Frida: A Family Day,” centers on a young girl who leaves her home in the Coyoacan neighborhood to travel to Mexico City.
Ricardo Sánchez Riancho, author of the book, also read the story in the original Spanish. The book was illustrated by Carlos Velez and translated into Arabic by Samar Mahfooz Baraj.
A Frida Kahlo doll was also unveiled by Kalimat to mark the book’s release. The doll, produced in cooperation with Dumyé, a company specializing in the production of dolls, is part of an initiative to support children in Mexico. Kalimat will use the proceeds from the sale of Frida Kahlo dolls to support children in Mexico.
Kahlo is best known for her self-portraits. His vividly colored paintings, numbering around 200, fuse elements of surrealism, fantasy and folklore into narratives.
Targeting children aged 4 to 8, the book is available at the Kalimat Group stand at SIBF 2022, which runs until November 13 at Expo Center Sharjah.
The promotion of Emirati heritage is the central theme of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) pavilion at the SIBF. Rare documents, books and publications documenting UAE history, tradition, trade, customs and community values are on display. The HHC pavilion also features audiovisual recordings of early Emirati poets
His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, is one of the first visitors to the HHC Pavilion. He was briefed on the research activities and initiatives of the HHC in the preservation of Emirati folklore and traditional literature.
Literary personalities from Senegal and Nigeria shed light on Afro-Arab literature during a panel discussion on “The reality of Afro-Arab novels”.
Senegalese novelist Omar Lee, who teaches Arabic to non-native speakers, said Arabic literature has long been established in Senegal. “Arabic literature has flourished in the country,” he noted.
He added that Senegalese writers should also “go a step further and put forward values to create change in society and craft a unified Senegalese identity and tradition, in order to bridge the gap with Arab readers.”
Booming traditional theater
Playwrights and theater professionals have said that traditional theater will continue to thrive even with technological advancements.
During a session titled “Theatre in the digital world”, former Lieutenant General Saeed Al Hanaki, who is an active member of the Emirates Writers Union, said: “From the time of Aristotle to To date, the art world has gone through different stages, but the theater has retained its status.
He added: “When you hear ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’ (from Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy in Hamlet), you instantly understand the advantage of traditional theater over digitala.”
Dr. Amna Al Rabeia, prolific Omani poet and passionate playwright, added: “We should not be afraid of the future of theatre. The scene accepts change and transformation as long as there is a passion for writing good plays.
heroes for kids
Beloved mouse hero Geronimo Stilton is a big hit among young SIBF visitors.
“The reason Geronimo Stilton is loved by children all over the world is because his values are universal and will help children become better adults,” noted Elisabetta Dami, creator of the popular children’s storybook series. Geronimo Stilton.
Dami, whose books have sold more than 182 million copies worldwide, said that “the secret of the Geronimo series lies in the values it upholds – which are respect for the school, the teachers , seniors and families, friendship, the environment, and a love of books.The secret ingredients are adventure, fun, humor and ethics.
The popular series originated in a pediatric hospital in Milan, Italy, when the author started volunteering after learning she couldn’t have children. Dami said the mouse and her associates were created to put smiles on children’s faces, as she loves children.
Do not miss
A one-of-a-kind traveling musical show should not be missed by SIBF visitors. Gently swirling to soft music, a ballerina stands upright on a piano then glides effortlessly through the many halls and corridors of the book fair.
The visually compelling performance is hosted by Italy, guest of honor at this year’s SIBF. Italy also organizes 17 entertainment activities while Italian authors, intellectuals, artists and publishers also share the cultural dynamics of their country.
food for thought
Meanwhile, Italian chef Cristina Bowerman said “the best way to communicate culture is through food”.
The Michelin-starred chef, who prepared an appetizing Italian dish at the Cookery Corner, said “recipes and traditions in Italy are very strong” as she thanked organizers for showcasing Italian culture at the SIBF. “It’s very important that Italian chefs talk about our cuisine,” she added.