Friday Links: Celebrating UAE National Day and Whose Kids Are Reading Now?

Thanks to Buzoor for this lovely photo of children reading along with Taghreed Najjar.

Over at ArabLit, I write about a new survey on Arab reading habits. Survey authors say that the adage “Egypt writes, Lebanon publishes, and Iraq reads” is no longer valid. Of course, we know—and it’s always painful to think about this—that Iraqi literacy rates have plummeted (from 90 percent to below 60 percent) in the last generation.

So who is reading now?

It’s the Emiratis, the survey says, followed by Lebanese and Jordanians. As for Egypt, we not only fail to have a reading culture, but we also fail to improve children’s access to quality Arabic books or to focus on our children’s Arabic-language education.

If we want to have a writing, thinking, and creative culture in a generation, then we need to invest in our children’s literacy and love of reading. Full stop.

Celebrate UAE National Day

Kalimat has published the only children’s book about UAE’s National Day, في الإتحاد قوة.

You should be able to buy it at any major bookstore in the UAE. The book includes a CD, reading, and the national anthem sung by Hussein al-Jasmi. More from Kalimat.

Egypt, Let’s Pull It Together

Today: Go to the Korba Branch of Dar el Shorouk (with your children, please) at 5 p.m. for a storytelling and art workshop featuring the excellent عندما رقص الأسد.

Tomorrow: Hie thee to Al-Balsam books (also, with your children) to hear from award-winning author Rania Hussein Amin, author of the Farhana series.

This entry was posted in Friday Links, why read and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Friday Links: Celebrating UAE National Day and Whose Kids Are Reading Now?

  1. Inas says:

    “عندما رقص الاسد”
    من امتع القصص التى نقرأها سويا فى المكتبة
    اقرأها للأطفال كما هى مكتوبة و احكيها احيانا و فى كلتا الحالتين استمتعع بها و يستمتعون جدا هم ايضا
    تحية للكاتب و الرسام ايهاب شاكر

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