Qatar: “We Are a Nation That Does Not Read”
This is one of the saddest articles I could read, a Nation that Does Not Read.
There is a secret to teaching your child to read. The secret is: be readers.
When a child grows up surrounded by books and magazines, when she grows up seeing her parents with books, magazines and newspapers in their hands, guess what happens? The child also grows up to be a reader.
YOU are the key to your child’s reading. Do you read to your children before bed every night? Do they already have their favorite books? Do you use books to reward good behavior?
There is a world of wonderful children’s books out there for children of every age. I commend Qatar for taking these first steps to create a nation of readers, and I urge that this be a long term project, with continuing support.
There are several bookstores in Qatar – the Jarir has a large number of children’s books. Virgin has books. The Dar ath Thaqafa stores have children’s books. There is a store in City Center called Eye Spy which has all kinds of children’s educational resources, it is up on the third floor, I believe. Buy books when you are travelling abroad and give them out during the year as special treats. You CAN create a nation of readers. :-)
From the Gulf Times
Club will nurture rare ‘book worms’
By Ourouba Hussein
The Childhood Cultural Centre is to launch an ambitious project that aims to inculcate the reading habit among children in Qatar.
Called the “Book Club”, the project was conceived after a study found that children in Qatar read only a quarter of a page per year.
Book Club project manager Abdullah Hamid al-Mulla said that children in Qatar read almost nothing outside their syllabus while children in the US read 11 books a year and their counterparts in the UK 8 books.
“We are a nation that does not read,” he stated.
According to the study, the number of books published in the Arab world is eight for every 12,000 children, al-Mullah said, adding “we know why Arabs are lagging in many fields”.
He said the project, under the slogan “a trip into the minds of people”, targeted children in the age group of 6-18 years and aimed at expanding their perceptions, as well as creating a reading culture.
He noted that since statistics showed that Arabs did not read more than six minutes per year and experience proved that children did not go to libraries or book clubs, the centre decided to reach out to them, in schools and “wherever they are”.
“We will work out agreements with schools and provide the books in schools also.”
Al-Mullah said incentives associated with the project that will be launched in conjunction with the Doha Book Fair 2009, featured excursions inside and outside Qatar, awards and cultural publications. The book fair opens at the Doha International Exhibition Centre today.
He explained that once a child is registered with the club, he will earn points according to participation in activities organised by the forum.
“Points are earned according to the level of the child’s usage of the free library, reciting stories for reading groups or attempts to write on his own, as well as participation in workshops,” he said.
According to the number of points earned, the child will be rewarded.
Al-Mulla also pointed out that experts would be available to help children select the most appropriate books.
He noted that the club’s pavilion at the Doha Book Fair will introduce many interactive educational projects for children.