Founded in 2007, the Dar Al Atta’a Let’s Read Programme works to promote the love of reading to children in Oman. We achieve our aims in a number of ways: we provide children with access to colourful, well- illustrated books, in English and in Arabic, at reasonable prices. We regularly hold storytelling, rhyme time, literacy and craft activities for children to give them good reading experiences and help them to develop a love for reading. Maythaa Al Mandhari conducts wonderful Arabic storytelling sessions with puppets and we have many volunteers who can offer storytelling in English. In the past, we have created playrooms in hospitals and computer centres and libraries in schools. We have also supported small nurseries and a homework club in a deprived area.
Twice a year, we run competitions for children. Last year we awarded prizes to children for their winning video clip Storytelling Challenges and in May 2021, we awarded prizes to 15th annual Children’s Writing Competition entitled Stories from Oman. To date, we have published five books. Each one is a collection of stories written by winners of our competitions;
Tales with a Twist, Stories from Oman, My Hometown, Stories of Our Ancestors and My Favourite Place in Oman.
We encourage adults to read by offering them a huge selection of fiction and non-fiction books of every genre, in both English and Arabic. Hardbacks cost 2 rials and paperbacks costs 1 rial. We hold book launches, poetry readings and interviews with authors. We are currently planning Oman’s first Muscat Literature Festival. Other events include lectures for parents on how to encourage their children to read and running support groups for those facing parental challenges.
Maktabati, Oman’s first mobile library programme, visits schools, festivals and fairs across the country, giving children fun reading experiences and providing children with access to good books in both Arabic and English.
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