The Blue Jackal - English Book CoverQatar National Library (QNL) in collaboration with Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd. (Oxy Qatar) is organising the launch of ′The Blue Jackal‘ children’s book featuring tales inspired by cultural heritage in the Muslim world.

Echoing QNL’s belief in keeping local traditions alive and encouraging the younger generation to preserve Qatar’s heritage, QNL is inviting youngsters, aged 4 to 11, to the book launch, which will take place on 23 June 2014 at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

Project Director of the National Library, Dr Claudia Lux, said:

At QNL, we are proud to partner with Oxy Qatar in organising this event as it will highlight the most important objectives of the library, which are to encourage reading and preserve Qatar’s heritage for the future generations. One of the key functions of QNL being a national library is to collect and provide access to global knowledge that is relevant to Qatar and the region. It also collects, preserves, and provides access to heritage content and materials about Qatar and the region.’

The event will include a story reading by the author Frances Gillespie and will feature other children’s activities. The story of the Blue Jackal and 17 other fables have been brought to life by the author who has lived in Qatar for almost 30 years. Gillespie has worked in Qatar as a teacher, environmental consultant and freelance journalist. She began contributing to publications about Qatar in 2000 and turned to writing her own books eight years ago.

In recent years, she has concentrated on publications for young readers about Qatar and the Arabian Gulf including ′Qatar Nature Explorer′; a series of six colourful hardback books about Qatar. She is also the author of the best-selling book ′Discovering Qatar′, which has been re-printed three times since its launch in 2006. Gillespie said:

I was inspired to make this collection of fables by the animals depicted in the superb works of art in the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. I have also included some of their photographs in the book. Canadian artist Charlene Kasdorf also drew on this ancient Islamic artwork as inspiration for her marvellous and exciting illustrations in each of the tales. Without the generous sponsorship of Oxy, the publication of ′The Blue Jackal′ would not have been possible. My publisher Medina Publishing in London and I are deeply grateful for Oxy’s support and encouragement. We are also pleased that QNL will be promoting the book by organising the book launch event in collaboration with Oxy. We hope this latest version of these 18 age-old tales that have delighted children for countless generations, will continue to enthral the youngsters of today.’

President and General Manager of Oxy Qatar, Stephen Kelly, said:

We are very pleased to once again work with the talented author Frances Gillespie, this time on a collection of traditional fables. These time-honoured tales, featuring animals that can speak, impart valuable lessons for children and adults alike.’

The book launch will take place at Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center within Qatar Foundation’s Education City at 5 pm to 7 pm and is open to all children aged between 4 and 11 along with their parents. Free copies of the book will be distributed to the participating audience.

QNL, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is currently offering free online access to a vast collection of online resources including children’s books, illustrated books, text reading materials, magazines, DVDs and audio books and many others. Anyone who lives in Qatar and has a valid Qatari ID/Residence Permit is eligible for free library registration.

To register, visit QNL’s website and to access the complete list of online resources, visit QNL’s online resources.