The stories of the book have been inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
An exceptional book featuring a collection of stories written entirely by the young winners of the first Voices of Future Generations competition for the Middle East Region was launched at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on Saturday.
The anthology, called Young Voices of Arabia, features the twenty winning stories-ten originally written in Arabic, ten in English — all of which were inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The beautifully produced collection, illustrated by UAE-based artists, has been translated and all stories are available in both languages.
Sheikha Hissa Bint Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “I am so proud of all the children who have their stories included in this book. They have worked hard to visualise how we can improve how we live and create a better world. Then they have taken that vision and crafted these wonderful adventure stories, engaging both the hearts and the minds of the reader. It is my great pleasure to see these children blossom both as writers and as advocates for sustainability through this initiative.”
Speaking at the launch, Dr Rafia Ghubash said that the books deserved a place on every child’s bookshelf. “It is wonderful to be able to read these imaginative stories which show such an insightful understanding of the issues facing the planet and the vision of these talented young people of how the world should and could be, if only we all work together.”
Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, said, “We believe offering a platform for young people to share their ideas about the future is a first step to positive change. These wonderful stories have really captured the spirit of the times we live in, and this initiative has never been more relevant than it is today.”
The launch was also attended by Saud Al Kaabi and Saira Thomas, first-place winners of the Arabic and English competitions, who spoke about their vision of a better future.
The unique writing initiative, held under the patronage of the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, part of UNESCO’s network of national cooperating bodies, was created to promote sustainability awareness and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Emirati authors will be taking centre stage at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature during ‘Spotlight on Emirati Talent’ day. Supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the dedicated stand on Feb.4 will feature sessions in Arabic on publishing, translation, cinematography, and more.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, one of the cultural highlights of the year, begins on Friday with an exceptional line-up featuring Nobel prize-winner Malala Yousafzai, Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf and Lemn Sissay.
An “accidental writer” believes the love for reading would make one treasure the craft of writing. She also believes that the love for writing entails a huge responsibility. That “accidental writer” is Dubai resident Danabelle Gutierrez who prefers to be called a writer more than a poet. “When you say poet, somebody has to call you that because I believe that is earned. I believe I am a writer.”
UAE's Embassy in London welcomed over 500 friends from the UK, UAE, and internationally to a grand reception at London’s famed Natural History Museum in South Kensington to commemorate 51 years since the founding of the UAE.
"On this day, we commemorate the bright memory of the Founding Fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Founders of the Nation, as well as their determination, wisdom and vision that established the Union.”
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the 51st UAE National Day is a day to recall lessons of the past, and look at the present with awareness and contemplation, while looking to the future with hope, optimism and confidence.