UAEBBY workshops bring children’s rights, safety to fore

SHARJAH, The eighth annual edition of “Books Made in UAE” workshop series, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, has comprehensively tackled the fundamentals of writing for children and young adults, YA, by focusing on children’s rights and safety.

Workshop participants included prominent Emirati women writers.

During the five-day training course held in Sharjah, workshop trainer Fatima Sharafeddine, who is an award-winning children’s author of over 130 books from Lebanon, introduced participants to various issues regarding the techniques and art of creative writing, as well as children’s rights based on the Wadeema law and on the United Nations, UN, resolution on children’s rights.

Sharafeddine noted that the commitment of the workshop’s participants to increase awareness about children’s rights through their writing was reflected in the way they conceived and shaped their individual storylines.

She added, “It comes as no surprise that Sharjah � a UNICEF Baby-and Child-friendly City as well as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019 � will merge these internationally recognised competencies into a spectacular UAEBBY workshop programme to pass them on to current and future generations of Emiratis. The UAEBBY has been making stellar efforts to raise the standards of children’s literature produced locally in the UAE.”

Workshop participant, Badria Al Shamsi, emphasised that books written for children should be meaningful and full of virtues. “I write books that make children laugh and, at the same time, teach them social values.” She noted that her dream is to make the world a better place for every child through her writing that will empower young readers by making them realise that they have the freedom to choose what is right.

Emirati writer, Nadia Al Najjar said, “This is the first time I’ve tackled the subject of child rights and protection in my writing. The workshop has made me realise how powerful our work can be in creating awareness and building a more just and stable future for our children.

She added, “My story tackles the subject of the freedom of expression because every child has the right to choose and express their opinion. It is important to encourage children to do this to enhance their self-confidence and ability to make their own decisions in the future.”

Source: Emirates News Agency