SCRF 2023: Bodour Al Qasimi joins children to paint on bookcases in inspiring workshop

The Pledge a Library initiative aims to provide books to under-resourced and forcibly displaced Arab children worldwide, ensuring their fundamental right to read

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Sun 14 May 2023, 3:11 PM

As part of Kalimat Foundation’s (KF) commitment to fostering creativity and instilling a love for reading among children, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and Chairperson of KF, attended an art workshop at Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) 2023.

The workshop, organised by the foundation and led by its first ambassador, Emirati artist Mohammed Al Mansoori, provided children with a unique opportunity to unleash their imagination and creativity, by painting on small bookcases in the shape of Pledge a Library’s portable libraries, and understand the core mission of the initiative, which aims to provide books to under-resourced and forcibly displaced Arab children worldwide, ensuring their fundamental right to read and access books.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi engaged with the children who participated in the workshop and joined their activity, who enthusiastically expressed their joy to share their drawings, creativity, and love for art and reading.

Inclusive reading sessions and workshops: Embracing “Ara” Initiative's Message

As part of its SCRF 2023 programme, KF also hosted a series of inclusive workshops that brought together visually impaired children with their peers to experience the joys of storytelling sessions, and broadening their knowledge through inspirational stories and meaningful narratives. The workshops were hosted under the 'Ara' initiative, which was launched in 2017 with the aim to enhance literacy skills among children with visual disability.

The main reading workshop was held in collaboration with the House of Wisdom and the Emirates Schools Establishment, and featured a story titled 'A Paper Traveler', published by Kalimat Group. The storytelling session, led by Haitham Shoukry, Founder of “Al-Hakawati” initiative, focused on instilling values of perseverance, determination, and willpower in children, aiming to draw children's attention to respecting the environment, teaching them about the value of recycling and sustainability practices. Children then participated in a workshop where they had the opportunity to create their own candy machine, drawing inspiration from the story.

Amna Al Mazmi, Director of Kalimat Foundation, said: "The foundation is adamant about achieving its vision and goals of empowering children through reading and safeguarding [a] child's right to access sources of knowledge to broaden their horizons, and reach their potential while nurturing a new generation that values knowledge and meaningful connections."

The inclusive workshops were organised by the KF in its endeavours to activate the MoUs signed with local entities, including a partnership with House of Wisdom, reflecting the Marrakesh Treaty authorisation.

During its participation in SCRF 2023, Kalimat Foundation also launched a new product line carrying the designs of Emirati artist Mohammed Al Mansoori. The partnership aims to support the ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative, which empowers under-resourced and refugee children by ensuring their right to read and access quality books and sources of knowledge.


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