NYU Abu Dhabi Students Launch Where Is Our Home?, a Storybook for Refugee Children
NYU Abu Dhabi student group ElevatED, has released Where is our home?, a children’s book which discusses migration, and celebrates the unity of humanity, and the environmental diversity of our planet. The book, written and illustrated by NYUAD students and published in Standard Arabic and English, will be shared with nearly 3,000 refugee and underprivileged children between the ages of 5-7 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Where is our home? portrays home as a place where love exists, which may not always necessarily be a physical or tangible space. The project supports the work of Jordanian non-governmental organization We Love Reading, whose reading ambassadors will distribute the book to children in their database in Jordan.
The project was led by NYUAD Class of 2020 student and ElevatED President Sara Pan Algarra who is majoring in Social Research and Public Policy and Theater, and authored by Class of 2021 NYUAD Literature and Creative Writing majors Ian Bryce Hoyt and Malak Abdel-Ghaffar. Illustrated by Class of 2021 student and Psychology major Davit Jintcharadze, the book includes 15 depictions of cultural diversity and characteristics that make cities around the world unique.
Pan Algarra said: “Where is Our Home? is an example of how university students can creatively unite and partner with a grassroots organization to address, through a needs-based approach, pressing world needs like literacy education.”
Eight other NYUAD students from different nationalities and academic backgrounds were also part of the creation of Where is our home?, including Alex Markova, Jude Al Sharif, María José Alonso Rivera, Tom Joseph Abi Samra, Mai Awamleh, Claudia Gabriela Neumann Vallejo, Ivona Feldmarova, and Mirela Valentinova Minkova.
Arabic Language Senior Lecturer Khulood Kittaneh and NYUAD Instructor in Social Research and Public Policy Leigh Llewellyn Graham provided guidance and supervision to the students throughout the project.
“This project highlights the noble global role that NYUAD plays in the world. It reflects how our students and community live, feel, and interact with the world during times of crisis, embracing human worries, and spreading awareness about how refugee children feel. We look forward to having students graduate with real-life experience while contributing to helping the world be a better place for everyone,” said Kittaneh.
The book has been selected for international presentations at The World Literacy Summit 2020, which is currently taking place online until today, April 8, and the Comparative and International Education Society Conference 2020: Education Beyond the Human (CIES 2020), also taking place virtually throughout the month of April.
ElevatED believes that education is a crucial tool for social change, and aims to enable NYUAD students to immerse themselves in different ways of working in education in the present and future.
New York University Abu Dhabi
NYU's agreement with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to create NYU Abu Dhabi is the outcome of a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts education, concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it, a conviction that interaction with new ideas and people who are different is valuable and necessary, and a commitment to educating students who are true citizens of the world.