The Qatari Forum for Authors has met anew within the children’s literature initiative under the supervision of writer and plastic artist Leena Al-Ali. The episode which was aired last evening on YouTube hosted the Lebanese writer Dr. Tariq Al-Bakry to discuss “The Role of Children’s Literature in Forging the Islamic Personality of a Child.”
At the start of the meeting, Dr. Bakry stressed that taking the road of Islamic children’s literature was his choice since it is the direct and basic road leading to the building of a balanced and sound child’s personality. He started working in this field through several means such as the Islamic Message Magazine and some radio stations that focus on Islamic principles, values and morals.
He explained that he had found a material need for giving intensive care to Islamically dimensioned researches since those which were available were rare and old as well as uncontemporary. He attempted through the works he authored to place his imprint in that field particularly that he had been working in the field of Children’s press from which was his springboard to his practical, literal career.
The Lebanese writer, a resident of Kuwait about the “Kuna” magazine for kids published by the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA). The magazine is published quarterly in 40000 copies. It was issued last in February and was met with considerable joy since it was distributed free of charge amongst Children. However, distribution has temporarily stopped due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He described the magazine as one that targets all children from all races and religions. It enhances morals and principles in children as humanity shares a set of constant values such as tolerance of difference of opinion, encouraging freedom of expression as well as having respect towards and accepting others.
For her part, Ms. Lina emphasized that there must be acclimatization with the current situation. Alternative intelligent solutions must be found in order to continue in supplying libraries with literary books and communicate with children through the works presented to them. One of these solutions is to resort to electronic books in the current period.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bakri stressed that paper has a soul of its own. Despite the progress of technology and e-books yet children still love pictures and colours and the touch of the paper magazine. Yet it is not always possible for the paper copy to be available. He added that writing for the youth, young people and children demands a full awareness of the significance of each category’s characteristics and accordingly select the messages suitable to be directed to each of them. This must be done through a simple series of books that are able to convey the idea in a simplified and attractive manner. Another significant element is that print must be clear and legible and that accompanying pictures have an important role in explaining the ideas and events of the book.
He further stressed that there still exists a shortage in works directed to children under the age of five in Arabic literature which are those works that contain pictures only without any print. These permit the child to imagine his/her own events but are unfortunately not in demand by the parents.
In relation to his experience in judging for competitions in the State of Qatar and several other Arab competitions he said that children enjoy several talents whether in writing or in drawing. They are able to create events of some stories in manner that even surpasses that of grown-ups.