Posted on March 22, 2020

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar Foundation is working hard to continue providing unique learning opportunities to children within the country through its Qatar Reads initiative.

While schools and universities are closed to safeguard the public, Qatar Reads –through its flagship Family Reading Program – is still distributing monthly packages to its members, adhering to strict health and safety measures as advised by the Ministry of Public Health.

The parcels, which are delivered via a specially constructed mailbox outside homes, include two story books, two activity sheets, and comics that feature the Qatar Reads’ trademark characters Sara and Ali. The Family Reading Program was launched in May 2019, and aims to inspire children to read, while encouraging parents to take an active role in creating and enforcing positive habits. Through a monthly book subscription, each package is uniquely tailored to specific ages, interests, and preferences. And due to its overwhelming popularity, the program has been expanded to accommodate for up to 1,000 families. 

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Muneera Al-Rumaihi and her five children have been part of the Family Reads Program since it was launched. “I was very impressed with the idea of ​​the campaign, and was one of the first people to sign up,” she says. “The idea of having books arrive in a mailbox at your front door once a month is a great idea – the box is beautiful, and the bright colors are very attractive. “My children love to read and are always excited to open their packages, especially when they open the mailbox and see a message specially addressed to them. This is a truly inspiring initiative, and one of – in my opinion – the best projects in Qatar.”

Al-Rumaihi is a children’s book author and has published five books with Hamad bin Khalifa University Press. Her daughter Dalal, who is 14 years old, has also published a book through HBKU Press. “Reading is not a foreign concept in my household – we have a very large library,” says Mrs. Al-Rumaihi. “It is important that I teach my children from a young age the importance of reading in both Arabic and English, as it helps to expand knowledge and nurtures imagination. It also teaches them about patience. “I want to be an example for my children, as when young people see you immersed in reading, they will learn from you and will inherit these qualities from you.

And Mrs. Al-Rumaihi wants to make reading as accessible as possible for her children, so ensures that she has books to hand at all times. “Technology cannot be avoided nowadays, so it is important to have books available everywhere and at all times. I like to have books in the car as well, which is useful especially during traffic.”

For more information about Qatar Reads, or to register for the Family Reading Program, please visit qatarreads.qa/programs/family-reading-program/

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