In April 2016, IBBY UK was invited by UAEBBY to attend Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival as their Guest of Honour. We were delighted to work with UAEBBY to further understand their projects to promote reading within the UAE; to support children in the CANA region affected by war and devastation through the IBBY Sharjah Fund; and learn how we can work together supporting refugees from the CANA region in Europe and further promote reading internationally through shared projects.
Attending SCRF 2016 on behalf of IBBY UK were Sophie Hallam, IBBY UK Executive Committee; Julia Eccleshare, Children's Books Editor for The Guardian; Dianne Hofmeyr, children’s author and Alexis Deacon, children’s book illustrator. The UK representatives were present at the event from April 20-23 2016, with their involvement seeing them participate in a panel discussion, hosting creative workshops for children and meeting their UAE counterparts involved in the promotion of reading among young people as well as authors and publishers. Alexis Deacon and Dianne Hofmeyr’s work was displayed on the UAEBBY stand alongside some of the the UK’s recent award winners and nominees.