For the moment, I’ll set aside schools’ Arabic programs, which of course would benefit from a good deal more “literary creativity.” But as to the non-school sector: We do have workshops and fun story-telling classes for children in Cairo. (Nothing with a secret door, though, I don’t think!)
However, all of them that I’ve seen have been in…English.
The Al-Balsam Books event featuring Rania Hussein Amin did have an (Arabic) story-writing element, which was wonderful to see. But we need much more of this, particularly in the summer, non-school months, across the Arabic-writing world. Because if children are to really know a language—and to be creative thinkers—they need not just to read the language fluently, but also to have the confidence to write.
The U.S.-based 826 project, which inspired the U.K.’s “Ministry of Stories,” has apparently taken its show on the road, and had some success in Kenya as well.