DUBAI: Lebanese author Hilda Youssef took children visiting Expo 2020 Dubai on an exciting imaginary journey at the open-air Sameem Pavilion, reading stories from her books and showcasing Arabic heritage.
The event, organised by Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF), saw Youssef reading from her books, Snowy & Zoey in a New World and Snowy & Zoey’s Big Life Lesson. Both stories contain messages regarding the importance of protecting the planet and maintaining a sustainable environment and teach children about tolerance and respect towards others.
At the end of the session, Youssef quizzed the children about the stories, as well as the lessons within. She also expressed her enthusiasm for Expo 2020 Dubai itself.
She said, “My participation is a message of gratitude and appreciation, and a simple payback to the beautiful UAE — a country of love, giving and peace, where I have lived for almost 30 years now.”
Youssef revealed that she began reading and writing at an early age, but had not dedicated time to creating her first children’s book until the first three months of the lockdown resulting from the pandemic. One story gave way to another, evolving into a series, and she confirmed there will be new books in the future.
Dania Droubi, Head of Education, ELF, said, “The main objective of the story corner at the Sameem Pavilion is to promote the love for reading and books among children. Some authors from ELF, as well as other writers speaking different languages and from different nationalities, will participate in reading stories. Children will also get the chance to read stories of their own creation.”
A reading event will be held at Sameem Pavilion every Saturday, with Arabic, English and Urdu among the languages covered. Source: Expo 2020 Website