Books - Made in UAE
Literature and Reading Promotion

Books - Made in UAE' authors on reading tour in Germany © Bettina Quabius

The tribal communities of the United Arab Emirates have a rich and long tradition of storytelling. Adults entertained each other with stories around desert campfires and generations of parents and grandparents recited these tales as bedtime stories to their children. Given this strong emphasis on the oral tradition and its intangible heritage, book carrying and reading was not part of old habits. Thus authentic, good-quality Emirati children’s books in Arabic have only recently begun to emerge on the market.

The project Books – Made in UAE, organized by the Goethe-Institut in co-operation with UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), supports the development of a sustainable local children’s book industry by training young and aspiring authors and illustrators in the creative process of producing children’s books in Emirati Arabic language.

The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region continue their “Books - Made in UAE” initiative with a workshop on “Silent Books” for ten Emirati / UAE-based artists from 5 – 8 May 2018. The 4-day workshop will be conducted by German illustrator Katrin Stangl.
Participants will be given the opportunity to develop their own Silent Book ideas and to learn how to illustrate them in a convincing way. Katrin Stangl will work with the students on their drawing techniques and give them advices for the draft and the finishing of the pages. In the end every participant will have a complete concept or storyline and at least two double-pages in full color.
Before the workshop, interested participants are invited to think about topics that are somehow connected to their life such as everyday situations, the feasts celebrated in the UAE, animals or plants living in the desert nearby, myths, legends, individual experiences, or famous places. It can be a collection of ideas and topics as well as a story! It‘s helpful to think about something „small and simple“, because the pictures will make it special anyway.
In addition, interested artists and illustrators should also provide the following documents:
  • A short bio (ca. 60 – 100 words)
  • A portfolio of their artwork (PDF),
  • A personal statement of motivation and objective to take part in this workshop. 
The workshop runs with an all day long schedule (9:30am – 4:30pm) from Saturday, 5 May till Wednesday, 8 May 2018. It will either take place in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah, depending on the number of applicants from either place. The language of communication during the workshop is English.
If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail and the required documents by 8 April 2018 to:
Bettina Quabius
Project Coordinator
Goethe-Institut Gulf Region
Tel.: +971 2 4099400
Mobile: +971 50 220 8215
The project “Books - Made in UAE” is organised by the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Knowledge without Borders.
More information about Katrin Stangl 

Books - Made in UAE
Edition 2017