Dan grew up to make a difference

Diplomat rightly proud as his children’s book is published into Arabic

Few diplomats have made as big an impression as Dan Oryan, the deputy ambassador of Israel from 2007 until 2012, whose legacy can still be enjoyed today thanks to the many cultural and humanitarian projects he became involved in.

Oryan was a journalist’s dream. Not only was he a big fish at the embassy, he was also a published author and former gymnast, who was happy to oblige photographer Hasse Ferrold with shots of him, dressed in his best suit, doing the splits in mid-air at a number of famous Copenhagen landmarks by the Lakes (www.bit.ly/NdbePU). We never tired of publishing those photos!

Given his wide range of talents, and the very many careers that he would have excelled in, it is perhaps fitting that his children’s book ‘When Dad grows up’ addresses this very subject: choosing the career that’s right for you. 

‘When Dad grows up’ has been a breakout success and already been published in four languages, but it is perhaps understandable that Oryan took particular pride in January when he heard that his work would be published in Arabic by Dar Alhuda.

“For me as an Israeli diplomat, to have my children’s book published in Arabic is very important,” explained Oryan.

“I see it as a way and means to get closer to our neighbours who live close but also so far away. In the future, I hope it will aid cultural exchange, as I think that the more Israeli Arabs and Arabs in the countries around us learn about us, the greater the chance we will be able to live side-by-side in peace.”

‘When Dad grows up’ endearingly portrays a father saying goodnight to his son and ending up in a conversation about what he wished he had done as a job and the possibilities open to his child. Oryan flips our expectations as it is the father who gets a little carried away and the son who is the voice of reason. 

‘When Dad grows up’ was originally published in Hebrew in 2008 (containing illustrations by Pepi Marzel) and then in Danish in 2010. Since then, it has been published in Serbian (2013) and now Arabic. Check out www.bit.ly/1c9DBE6 to see Oryan read from the book in Danish with English subtitles. 





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