Posted on March 30, 2016

Across the month of April, Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is holding a series of events with Qatari children’s author, Muneera Saad Al-Romaihi, in Doha to celebrate UNESCO World Book Day 2016, which takes place on April 23, 2016, and to highlight the joy of reading to children, librarians, parents and educators. A celebration with the book’s illustrator, Gulnar Hajo, will also be held in Istanbul. 

HBKU Press has chosen Al-Romaihi’s heartwarming children’s book, Manal’s World, as its 2016 title for World Book Day. To encourage reading, 4000 bilingual Arabic and English copies of the book will be gifted to schools and children across Qatar. In partnership with Qatar Foundation International (QFI), copies of the book will also be distributed to students at QFI-funded Arabic language programs across the United States. Manal’s World is a touching story about a young girl, Manal, who helps a lonely friend come out of her shell. Unhindered by her own physical disabilities, Manal’s generosity, kindness, and creativity are an inspiration to both the friend and the reader. Lyrical and imaginative, Manal’s World is a charming story whose main character proves that you can have fun and set a positive example in all circumstances.

HBKU Press celebrates World Book 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgAs part of World Book Day, Al-Romaihi will participate in reading circles with grade three students at schools across Qatar. Furthermore, in partnership with Maktaba Qatar, the author will conduct bilingual reading sessions and writing activities with young students and their parents. Activities will take place on April 16th at Maktaba Qatar from 1pm to 3pm“Good reading starts early and children who share books with others are more likely to develop language skills and advanced reading levels,” commented Al-Romaihi. “I am very excited that Manal’s World was chosen as this year’s book. I hope that the story will encourage children to embrace reading and storytelling.”

This year, HBKU Press is proud to be widening its reach and distribution for World Book Day. In an effort to positively impact children in challenging circumstances, HBKU Press will be distributing copies of Manal’s World to children in refugee camps across the Middle East. Furthermore, Al-Romaihi will be joining the book’s illustrator on Gulnar Hajo, in Istanbul for a celebration at her bookstore, Pages, on April 23rd and 24th. The events will include two days of illustration workshops and reading circles with young Syrian children. HBKU Press is one of thousands of organizations across the world marking UNESCO’s World Book Day by showing how magical books can be.

To find out more about the events, please contact Helene Theros at htheros@qf.org.qa.  

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