The Italian Embassy in Qatar decided to participate in the 31st edition of the International Book Fair in Doha with a Pavilion entirely dedicated to children’s literature. The Book Fair was held from 13 to 22 January, at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

Ambassador Prunas with Qatar's Prime Minister Al Thani
Ambassador Prunas with Qatar’s Prime Minister Al Thani

The decision to dedicate Italy’s Pavilion to children was guided by the desire to give space to children, offering them an opportunity to actively approach and explore – through the exploration of books, illustrations and activities – the world of literature. It was a valuable opportunity at this time in which schools are closed in Qatar to keep the pandemic at bay.

The Pavilion, one of the largest in the fair, was created in partnership with “Reggio Children”, a leading Italian organization promoting and educating on children’s rights, known worldwide for its teaching methods.

“We are particularly proud of our Pavilion – said Italian Ambassador to Qatar Alessandro Prunas – it is the first time we participate in an institutional event in 2022 and we decided to dedicate it to our little ones who, perhaps more than adults, are going through difficult times.”

Ambassador Alessandro Prunas
italian Ambassador to Qatar Alessandro Prunas

With a dense agenda of workshops, exhibitions, readings and interactive courses, the Pavilion will propose a selection of books written by Italian authors or published by Italian publishing companies, to be consulted freely.

One of the most awaited events is the presentation of the Arab version of two books, “La torta in cielo” (The Cake in the Sky) and “Fiabe lunghe un sorriso” (Fairy tales long a smile) by Gianni Rodari, the winner of the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Nobel prize of Children’s Literature.

The author will also be celebrated through the “Illustrations by Gianni Rodari” exhibition:  a selection of images made by 21 artists within the framework of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which are being displayed in Qatar for the first time. 

The pavilion will also host the exhibition titled “Out of silence. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, narrating through wordless books”, 41 wordless books created by Italian authors experimenting with a new narrative form.

International Doha Book Fair, Qatar

Furthermore, Italian artist Enrica Pizzicori, who specializes in children’s illustrations and is the author of the Pavilion’s main logo, will be performing live digital painting sessions throughout the event.

“For Italy as for Qatar, education and promoting children’s potentials and rights is a priority, now more than ever. This is why we have wanted to create an event wholly dedicated to them. An event where everybody can find inspiration and – why not? – also some comfort in these hard times.”, concluded Ambassador Prunas.