Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Children's Books about Qatar!

Children's literacy is an important topic in Qatar.  Efforts to increase kids' reading skills include mobile and school libraries, contests, clubs, children's television programs.  But - not a lot of local interest books.
According to a survey on reading habits in the Arab world conducted by Yahoo! Maktoob Research in 2011, almost 30% of people below 25 years in the Arab world never read. People aged between 46 and 50 were the most frequent readers, followed by those aged between 36 and 45, which makes up 25% of the population.  The youth read less than any other segment of society…
Limited quantities of popular American children's books are available for purchase in Qatar.  But children's books about Qatar for Qatar?  Rare.  Until now.  I'm thrilled to own both English and Arabic language sets of a wonderful new series of books by Frances Gillespie:
Qatar Nature Explorer
by Frances Gillespie
"There are about twelve species of dragonfly in Qatar.  They and their smaller relatives, the damselflies, are fierce hunters.  Both have bright colours and similarly shaped bodies, but you can easily tell them apart…" (ages 6+)
From Insects and Arachnids of Qatar, by Frances Gillespie
Sets in English and Arabic include six hardcover editions: Birds of Qatar, Insects and Arachnids of Qatar, Mammals of Qatar, Plants of Qatar, Reptiles and Amphibians of Qatar, Sea and Shore Life of Qatar.  Copies of Qatar Nature Explorer will soon be available for purchase in bookstores throughout the country and online.  To acquire your own copies now, contact Fran by email: (email address provided with permission).

I'm also a happy owner of this gem written for the Middle School aged crowd:
Hidden in the Sands, Uncovering Qatar's Past
by Frances Gillespie and Faisal Abdulla al-Naimi
"The first book of its kind to be published for a general readership from youngsters upwards, Hidden in the Sands: Uncovering Qatar's Past is the fascinating, fun and educational story of Qatar's heritage and the exciting discoveries being made by archaeologists…" (ages 11+)
Read/Listen/Learn/Order your own copy:
Frances Gillespie is a British writer and journalist and has lived in Qatar for nearly 30 years.  Before moving to Doha, she taught English in England and Nigeria.  She's a former Chairman of the Qatar Natural History Group and has travelled from one end of the country to the other.  Fran has written hundreds of articles for local and international publications in many countries, including Qatar, USA, UK, UAE, Lebanon.  Her best-selling books, Discovering Qatar and Common Birds of Qatar are well known in Qatar.

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