Qatar Reads on a mission to create knowledge-seekers' community
January 18 2020 11:29 PM
Fatma al-Malki
“We are launching these new programmes for specific communities in the country with the aim of creating a community of readers and knowledge-seekers across Qatar, promoting accessibility, creativity, and literacy,” says Fatma al-Malki

*Qatar Foundation initiative aimed at benefitting more residents

Qatar Reads, an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), is set to launch several new programmes to take reading to different sections of the society with the purpose of creating a community of readers and knowledge-seekers across Qatar.
“The new programmes to be launched are: ‘Mommy To Be’ aiming at expecting mothers; QF Literacy, Empowerment and Advocacy Programme (QF LEAP) meant for low income migrant workers; Corporate Reading programme for self-motivated professionals and the School Membership programme for K-12 schools to create tailor-made reading programmes for students,” revealed Fatma al-Malki, senior community outreach officer, Qatar Reads, in an exclusive interview with Gulf Times.


A group of children at Qatar Reads pavilion at Doha International Book Fair 2020

Al-Malki noted that the National Reading Campaign was launched in 2016 by QF and was revamped as Qatar Reads in 2019.
“We are launching these new programmes for specific communities in the country with the aim of creating a community of readers and knowledge-seekers across Qatar, promoting accessibility, creativity, and literacy,” she said.
Qatar Reads already has two running initiatives - Family Reading and Hospital Reading.
“Family Reading programme was launched in May last year in collaboration with Scholastic, a multinational publishing and education and media company. Over 680 children have registered for the programme and join us in our monthly activities. Depending on the theme of the month, we take them to different places such as Mathaf, for art theme in last summer and the planetarium in Katara for the theme on space in October last year. They read the materials, then analyse their reading through activity sheets and network with other participants,” continued al-Malki.
Hospital Reading is another programme already operational in paediatric wards of Sidra Medicine and Hamad Medical Corporation hospitals.
“This is done in collaboration with Qatar Academy Sidra and we get story tellers to read out stories for other children in the paediatric wards providing comfort and support in their healing journey. This helps to cheer the patients up and provide positive energy for them,” she noted.
The new programmes to be launched are set for specific categories of people with the goal of expanding reading to various sections of the society.
“The initiative QF LEAP is done in collaboration with Education Above All and meant for the migrant low income workers. It is planned to be conducted in their work environment through volunteers. The modalities are being finalised and will be launched in a few months,” said al-Malki.
“Mommy to Be is another interesting programme for expecting mothers and will be launched in March. It will provide readings on parenting and early childhood learning. They also get access to workshops on developing their children’s reading abilities,” maintained the outreach officer.
School membership programme is aimed at making reading fun for the students. The member schools will have to follow certain requirements to facilitate reading in the school atmosphere. “Corporate Reading programme is aimed at self-motivating professionals who will read bestselling books and participate in discussions. They will gain insights about various topics and can advance their career with networking workshops and more,” added al-Malki.
Qatar Reads had a great presence at the Doha International Book Fair that concluded Saturday.



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