Tamdeen Group, which is aiming to reshape the urban and social landscape of Kuwait through developing innovative mixed-use projects, has launched the ‘My Book My Friend’ reading program to increase awareness of the positive impact of reading on the nation.
‘My Book My Friend’ will focus on creating a community of readers in Kuwait – both children and adults alike.
Prominent personalities who spoke at the launch event were Dr. Naif Al Mutawa, Yousef Khalifa, Nejoud Al-Yagout, Amal Randy, Hayatt Al Yaqout and Heba Mendany.
Launched at the iconic 360 MALL, the event saw Tamdeen Group senior management and staff, media, and Kuwaiti authors and poets join hands to endorse the program which aspires to engage at least 5,000 Kuwaiti adults to read to 20,000 children in the age-group of 5-12 years by end-2017.
Referring to the reading program, Mohammed Jassim Al Marzouq, Chairman, Tamdeen Group, said: “It is our responsibility to create a new generation of more aware children who understand their heritage and who will be able to define their future. I call upon both the private and public sector in Kuwait to join hands with the ‘My Book My Friend’ program and contribute to the enormous effort of creating a nation of readers.
“The ‘My Book, My Friend’ reading program aims to challenge not only children but also their parents in fostering a culture of reading which will see Kuwait grow even greater in the years to come.”
The first set of 40 adults at the event were encouraged to take a pledge to read to their children first for at least 10 minutes daily, and then motivate their extended families, their neighbors and then the wider community to take the same pledge.
“Eventually, we want Kuwait to be known as a nation of readers,” explained Muath Al Roumi, Tamdeen Group’s Corporate Marketing Head who announced the initiative. “There is a strong link between extensive reading and college readiness, and we need to emphasize the role of parental involvement and school instruction in building confident, strategic and fluent Kuwaiti readers who can become successful people.”
Parents were also encouraged to take the pledge at #MyBookMyFriend and encourage their friends to join.
The program will consist of weekly reading sessions at 360 MALL by influential and budding Arab authors and poets in Kuwait in private and public spaces. The themes will cover science, fiction, history, geography, sports, arts, culture amongst others.
Awakening this literature culture and inculcating the habit of reading for future generations, the ‘My Book My Friend’ program will also organize periodical workshops with interesting activities for children. The workshops will include a number of inspiring readings of works of renowned regional authors and poets.
Strengthening the Arab tradition and culture, the program will eventually address the alarming issue as reported by Arab Thought Foundation that the annual average reading rate for an Arab child is six minutes compared with a 12,000-minute average for children in the West.