The EBBY Launch last Monday was very well attended with publishers, famous and emerging authors and illustrators, critics and academics teachers, and many more in attendance. On our panel was CEO Dr. Nadia El Khouly, founder of Samir Magazine Shahira x, founder of Shura Olfat x, and Dr. Yasmine Motawy. Later, the panel hosted the winners of EBBY’s honorary awards: Yacoub El Sharouny, Afaf Tobala, and Yasser Gueissa.
Dr. Nadia and Dr. Yasmine explained the vision of EBBY and our next steps. During this past year, EBBY has put itself back on the map ever since the revolution. We have compiled a qualified team of children’s literature academics, professionals, publishers, and more all completely dedicated to the cause. We are attending conferences, such as the IRSCL 2015 Worchester, UK, and IBBY 2016 Auckland, New Zealand. Furthermore, we are holding a writing competition, Ardena in coordination with Shoura – more details on our website. Last, we are making seminars and workshops for writers, illustrators, and all those interested in our field.
Yacoub El Sharouny spoke of the need to translate research on children’s literature and award winning children’s books. He commented on the importance of prizes as they help publicize books and authors. Last, he spoke of the importance of professional criticism in the field of children’s literature in Egypt.
During the time for discussion, several important points were brought to light. The once popular Children’s Book Fair was remembered and many asked for it’s return. Publishers such as Nahdet Misr claimed their full support for EBBY and an active community of chidlren’s literature in Egypt. Dr. Hussein Banhawy offered to return all the books which belong to EBBY back to the organization again. The need for critics and researchers was once again reiterated to make all writers feel that their work is being read and critiqued. Last, there was a general feeling that problems relevant to children were not being addressed in current children’s literature – and this would be necessary to boost the love of reading in children.