Libraries, author visits and some other things…

A collection of some interesting things (news articles, blog posts) that I’ve found over the few days that I wanted to share with you:

A mother, Muslim American resident in Saudi Arabia for several decades reminisces about growing up in the U.S. and spending lots of time reading at the local public library. Why is it she asks, do libraries not exist in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? Read more here. My own thoughts and experience with Arab culture tells me that there is simple a lack of a ‘reading culture.’ That is, the Saudi society displays an absence of a collective desire to read not just to improve the mind but for enjoyment. Today’s generation of children and youth prefer to relax with the television, gaming systems etc. You might say that this is no different than youth anywhere else in the world. But the fact is there are few libraries available to the public (academic libraries don’t count). 

Would you like an author to visit your classroom to talk about their books, do some activities, and get your children excited about books and reading? Author visits to schools are normal in many parts of the world (see this news article). I just wished children in Islamic schools can experience the same. On another note it was uplifting to read of a bookstore in the U.S. having an author visit, read stories and sign books earlier this year! See here.

I was happy to read about a new selection of books  about Islam and Muslims living in Europe being produced by a German publisher. Salam Verlag is a German publishing house that focuses on Islamic oriented literature for children. According to the founder of the publishign company:

No real reading material exists in the Islamic communities in Germany which promotes children’s self-confidence…

The language of publication is German but there are plans in the future for publishing in other languages. Read more here.

And that’s about what I wanted to share.

Have you seen/read anything in the news or elsewhere pertaining to reading, books and literacy? Please share. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Add a comment below or use the contact form or email muslimkidsbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.