As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar Foundation is working hard to continue providing unique learning opportunities to children within the country through its Qatar Reads initiative.

While schools and universities are closed to safeguard the public, Qatar Reads – through its flagship Family Reading Program – is still distributing monthly packages to members, adhering to strict health and safety measures as advised by the Ministry of Public Health.

The parcels, which are delivered via a specially constructed mailbox outside homes, include two story books, two activity sheets, and comics that feature the trademark characters of Qatar Reads – Sara and Ali.

Family Reading Program

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The special Qatar Reads mailbox

The Family Reading Program was launched in May 2019 to inspire children to read, while encouraging parents to take an active role in creating and enforcing positive habits. Through a monthly book subscription, each package is uniquely tailored to specific ages, interests and preferences. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the programme has been expanded to accommodate at least 1,000 families.

Muneera Al Rumaihi and her five children have been part of the programme since its launch. She said that she was very impressed with the idea (of the campaign) and was one of the first people to sign up.

The idea of having books arrive in a mailbox at your front door once a month is a great idea – the box is beautiful, and the bright colours are very attractive.

She said that her children love to read and are always excited to open their packages, especially when they open the mailbox and see a message specially addressed to them. It is a truly inspiring initiative, and one of the best projects in Qatar, according to her.

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Al Rumaihi is a children’s book author and has published five books with Hamad bin Khalifa University Press. Her daughter Dalal, who is 14 years old, also published a book through HBKU Press. Reading is not a foreign concept in their household – they have a very large library.

It is important that I teach my children  from a young age, the importance of reading in both Arabic and English, as it helps expand their knowledge and nurture their imagination. It also teaches them about patience.

She said that she wants to be an example for her children.

When young people see you immersed in reading, they will learn from you and will inherit these qualities from you.

Al Rumaihi wants to make reading as accessible as possible for her children, so she makes sure that she has books to hand at all times. Technology cannot be avoided nowadays, so it is important to have books available everywhere and at all times. She said that she keeps books in the car as well, which is useful especially during traffic.

For more information about Qatar Reads, or to register for the Family Reading Program, visit qatarreads.qa.