Kalimat and du announce partnership to promote Arabic literacy among children

Kalimat and du announce partnership to promote Arabic literacy among children
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Published November 30th, 2010 - 12:32 GMT

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In the presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat, and Hala Badri, EVP of Brand and Communications at du, Kalimat, renowned publishers of Arabic children's books, and du, today announced their partnership in a bid to promote the habit of Arabic literacy among children. Aimed at fostering love of the Arabic language and literature, this association with du will sustain Kalimat's series of initiatives throughout the UAE to give an impetus to young readers to further develop their habit and love of reading.

The partnership will support several locally based events, including book readings and signings by authors, illustrators' workshops, and participation in local book fairs, among others. Organized by Kalimat, these activities will take place up until August 2011.

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi is delighted at the partnership. "We are excited to be associated with du as it will help us continue to reach more and more families across the country. Our events form an integral part of our operations in helping us popularize Arabic literature among children. It is because of companies such as du that we are able to continue our work," she said.

Reciprocating the sentiment, Hala Badri, EVP, Brand and Communications, du, said: "Children are the future of the nation, and we believe there is no better way to build a nation than to invest in education. Essentially, just as telecommunication connects society, so too does literature. We are therefore collaborating with Kalimat to drive Arabic literature at grass root level, thereby

creating a strong foundation from which to build and develop a true understanding among the younger generations of the rich Arabic language and heritage."

Kalimat launched its latest book – which is also its milestone 75th title – at the ceremony. The hardcover book, which celebrates the UAE's National Day, is titled Fie Al Ittihad Quwa, and includes a CD with the Emirati national anthem sung by renowned Emirati singer, Hussein Al Jasmy. The book – which is also narrated by Al Jasmy– tells a heart-warming family tale that will create an awareness of their heritage, as well as a sense of national pride, among Emirati children. An abra ride across the Al Qasba canal, as author Abir Ballan read the book to a group of engrossed children, added colour to the launch.

Written by Abir Ballan, the author of Kalimat's popular Zein series – which features stories about difficult issues that children face in their daily life, including workaholic dads, bedtime conflicts and sibling rivalry – Fie Al Ittihad Quwa draws parallels with the formation of the Emirates with a contemporary take on a traditional tale that will be familiar to all readers. The launch of this book is an additional feather in Kalimat's cap as the company focuses on encouraging kids to learn more about their country and their heritage. The company's new heritage series was enormously popular with both parents and children when it was launched at the recent Sharjah Book Fair.

The company is planning to launch the new book with a series of readings in schools across the UAE to give kids a sense of pride and interest in the UAE from an early age. The book is already available in all major bookstores in the UAE such as Magrudy's, Borders, Jashanmal, Virgin and Kinokuniya.

Kalimat takes a holistic approach to encouraging reading among children and works tirelessly to achieve this through its many activities and events. The partnership agreement between Kalimat and du includes a range of activities which will take place next year, including family-oriented activities in renowned bookshops in the UAE to mark Mother's Day and Father's Day. In addition, du and Kalimat will commemorate International Children's Book Day and National Day with celebratory events and promotions. Likewise, du will contribute to Kalimat's participation in all local book fairs, such as the Abu Dhabi Book Fair in March 2011.

The two companies are also planning to visit local schools to conduct reading sessions as part of Kalimat and du's combined initiative to develop a taste for reading in young children. 


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