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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

‘We are a nation that does not read’

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We are a nation that does not read.

Abdullah Hamid Al Mulla, project manager of a campaign to encourage children in Qatar to form healthy reading habits to better their futures, in a Peninsula article about the subject.

His comments come on the heels of a report that found more than 30 percent of Qatari children say they don’t have time to read, while 26 percent complain about not having access to books of their interest.

The survey was conducted by the Katara-based Childhood Cultural Center, which has launched the “Maktabati” (my book) project to help get more children in Qatar to read.

The problem is one experienced across the Middle East; a 2010 UN report suggests that less than 2 percent of the population in the Arab world reads even one book a year.

Luckily, people in Qatar are taking note.

In addition to Maktabati, other Qatar-based initiatives to tackle the issue include “Book Club,” a project launched by Al Mulla, and Maktaba, an Arabic/English children’s library that organizers hope to open next year.

What do you think could be done in Qatar to inculcate a love of reading in children?

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