Report p.3


Communities bound by books

‘We have had on two occasions girls come to the library and literally jump up and down with joy when they saw the books.’

Three and half years on from its November 2017 launch, Pledge a Library partners and recipients have commented on results arising from book donations. A number of common gains have emerged, some of which were foreseen from the outset, while others have transpired with time. The development of literacy in Arabic and its contribution to formal education, is considered a key benefit amongst organisations receiving books on the Pledge a Library programme. In northern Jordan’s Zaatari camp, housing a population of about 80,000 refugees from Syria, Blumont, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for a community-based protection project, manages the libraries sent by Kalimat Foundation.

According to Siraj Al-Hmoud, the senior camp manager, up to 2,000 children aged from two to 17 years old, have access to the books. Through Blumont’s Tiger reading club, literacy has become an integral component to a holistic learning framework constituting Arabic and English languages, ICT and art. Outreach programmes that push into Zaatari’s districts by way of mobile libraries, have also been implemented to foster community spirit. Libraries in the refugee camp have subsequently become a cornerstone of everyday life, in which children, parents, businesses and institutions all partake in lending and reading opportunities….

Keeping in touch with the future as the world advances

‘The key is always education. If children who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled can complete their schooling and experience no barriers in obtaining a higher education, the sky is the limit.’

The universe in which visually disabled children are educated, and cared for, requires substantial attention to needs. One that is embodied by manifest purpose, to guide and set a path for those whose worlds are shrouded in darkness, or obscurity, and where light, colour and form can be non-existent. Managing the futures of youth with such incapacity hence demands great responsibility. Where Kalimat Foundation has offered its support in aiding literacy, we have asked programme partners and recipients on some of the outcomes resulting from Ara interventions. In respect to organisations that have benefited from, and supported Ara, their remits are often wide-ranging and include schooling and enrolment into education, life skills development, health, welfare and the progression of accessible publishing. In the Middle East context, where books in Arabic are often not readily available, Kalimat Foundation has worked to identify how best it can encourage reading…

Kalimat Group is an award-winning multi-imprint publisher of more than 450 titles together with licensing and distribution rights in 16 countries. 250 of the group’s books come under the Kalimat imprint, where stories often look at Arabic tradition and the contrasts and comparisons experienced by children as they grow up, of socio-cultural themes inalternative and global settings.

Kalimat imprint is a partner of leading international publishers, namely Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Quarto in the United States, France’s Editions Gallimard Jeunesse and Italy’s Galluci Editore. In respect to accolades, these include in 2012 and 2015, the Arab 21 Awards from the Arab Thought Foundation, in 2016 the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Best Children’s Publisher of the Year award representing Asia, and in 2017, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for best publisher.

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