On the 27th of January 2019, Julie McAdam and Susanne Abou Ghaida organized a one-day workshop for picturebook mediators. Dina El-Abed from the Catholic Relief Services and Mustapha Shoukry from Duwwar, who had attended a similar workshop in 2018, took part in delivering the training. The workshop was attended by 20 people, representing seven NGO’s and organizations. The workshop aimed to strengthen knowledge and understanding of how to draw on the potential of children’s literature to address the educational and emotional needs of displaced children, young people and their families. The sessions presented multimodal texts, introduced the mirror-windows-doors metaphor for book selection and discussed the visual grammar of picturebooks. During the day, various strategies to capture the responses of children were discussed and put into practice by the participants. In the final session, the participants, working in groups, chose one picturebook and designed creative response activities.
On the 26th of January, a storytelling workshop was organized in the American University in Cairo. There were 40 attendees, including AUC staff and students, members of Egyptian NGO’s and various individuals. The event was an opportunity to present the project and showcase the work done in Egypt by the Catholica Relief Services as well as ASSABIL, a new partner organization from Lebanon. This was followed by a session on how to select picturebooks to use with children, young people and their families. The participants working in groups developed their own criteria and shared it with each other. The day also included a storytelling performance by Haitham Shoukry in which he demonstrated various techniques such as reading in both colloquial and standard Arabic and using props. Mustafa Shoukry from Duwwar conducted a short interactive workshop that encouraged the participants to respond to The Arrival by Shaun Tan through drama. The day ended with a discussion of what events the project should conduct in the future and how those working with vulnerable individuals can ensure their wellbeing of the people.