SHARJAH, In line with its keenness to support the Emirati publishing houses, the Emirates Publishers Association, EPA, sponsored five of its affiliate members for the 56th edition of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which concluded on Thursday.

The five � Kalimat Group, Al Hudhud Publishing, Al Fulk for Translation and Publishing, Dragon Publishing and Al Takhayol Publishing and Distribution, took part in the fair along with the Emirates Publishers Association.

EPA's participation enables the Emirati publishing houses to take part in regional and global cultural events, with aims to promote their titles and expand their strategic relations with international publishers.

Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA, said, "At EPA, we are keen to elevate the publishing sector in general and particularly children's books, which are instrumental in igniting imagination and building the capabilities of young people. These books contribute to raising children's cultural awareness, and our dedication towards the cause gets reflected by our participation in the Bologna Children's Book Fair."

He further said, "Recent studies indicate that the majority of children in the UAE prefer to read Arabic books. However, there is a lack of variety in topics and online Arabic content, which drives children to read books in English and other foreign languages. Consequently, the growing consumption of content in foreign languages has a negative impact on their Arabic skills. This is the main reason that drives us to dedicate our efforts in supporting publishers of Arabic children's books."

During the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the EPA met with a host of international cultural experts, including Beijing International Book Fair representatives to discuss EPA's participation in the forthcoming edition. Meetings with Italian, Brazilian and Spanish publishers were also held to explore mutual cooperation with EPA's affiliate members.

During a meeting with the "Bologna Fiere Group", one of the leading companies in the exhibition sector, the EPA explored its first potential participation in the forthcoming edition of the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair 2019, as well as possible participation in the Bologna Book Fair and New York Rights Fair.

Source: Emirates News Agency