Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kids and reading

Before Ziad was born I stocked up on children books and I would read him a book every night. When I went to Syria he was seven months old, when I went into a book store to buy him Arabic books to read to him the girl has to hide her giggles when I told her I am buying these books for my seven months old baby. It is not like I was buying him novel, they were cardboard books with 2-3 words on each page, sheesh!

Now Ziad and Bilal love books, we buy 2-4 books from Ctown every week, Arabic books of course, and we read 2-6 books every night depending on how early we settle down in bed.

I love reading! One day when I was eight or nine years old I discovered a room full of books and magazines in my grandfather’s house. That is when I realized my love for reading. I was in heaven; I would sit there for hours. They were books collected over the years, my young uncles, my older uncles, my aunt, and some for friends of the family. My favourite books were a series about kids who solve mysteries, kind of like Nancy Drew. Loza, nossa, atif, bakheet and takhtakh, those were their names, I wish I knew what the series if called. There were also some romantic novels, Ghassan Knafani books, the Red Crescent magazines (they had the saddest stories about Palestine), and few other novels for Arabic writers. Before I left to Canada I had read every single book, and magazine in that room. I wonder if they are still there! I hope so! I want to take some books that I would love to reread.

When Ziad was in preschool the teacher read them a book everyday, and they had daily library visits. Everyday he would bring a new book to read, he was always excited about it, and most days we read the books before he even took his snow suite off. On top of that we visited our local library everyday, we borrow 20+ books each visit. In KG they were still read to everyday and had daily library visits. Everyone in the school had to log the books they read. KG kids were to read 11 times a week. Ziad loved it when we read, and dare I forget to write the name of the books he read in his log every night.

In Jordan Ziad never comes home with a book to read. They have a library at school, but it is not important for grade one to read so they do not have access to it, until they are in grade 3. I do not get it, the library is there, why not let grade one and two students borrow books to read or to be read to them?? No wonder the girl laughed at me for buying books for my seven months old baby in Syria!


Oriental Arabesque said...

i love reading too..and i believe it's inherited in the person since early childhood days (parents play the major role here) mom used to read for me everyday kaman...and ya 7aram i used to make her read majalet majed for me min el jeldeh lal jeldeh :D before i learned how to read my myself..
she also encouraged me to read for Najeeb Mahfooz, Yousef el Seba3i and many more when i was in 7th and 8th grade saying i have go for classy novels at this early age to be able to tell the difference when i read crapy ones later!

i love it when i see that some ppl still care about books and reading these's lovely how u encourage ur kids to do that...and don't mind other ppl (like the girl in Syira) they think it's falsafeh to do that but they are the ignorant 2 thumbs up for u :)

Oriental Arabesque said...

and oh by the way...i used to LOVE the al'3aaz of al mu'3amereen el '7amsah (same ones u used to read) and of course rajoul el musta7eel too :D what was his name? adham something!

Summer said...

This is so sad about your son's school in Amman! Have you suggested to them encouraging kids to read at an early age?
I have always been a reader, I started at an early age…growing up, my whole family were/are bookworms, luckily, my kids are the same way too....when they were young they had the pizza hut reading program in their schools. They had to read minimum five books a week to collect a star in exchange for a free personal pan pizza. There are many ways schools can do to encourage reading but in the Middle East they just do not realize how important it is in forming children’s future...just too sad!

Anonymous said...

I used to read those too :) They still have them in ammani bookstores [or more like stationery stores].

Sam said...

o yeh that is what they were called...i used to wonder how loza got her up like that...haha...i am going to look for them next time im at a book store here...before i leave..:(

Anonymous said...

There are so many things that are really important but aren't practiced in Middle Eastern countries. Unfortunately, I think we still have a big influence on old traditions when we didn't have modern technology and we don't realize that its the 21st century. we're not willing to improve on a quick rate... we're going very slow. I think you should let them know. Maybe even print out ur blog and share it with the principle & teachers. I love reading too, my mom made them my awards for the longest time and I would do anything good to get a new book.

Jundi said...

i remember my mom teaching me to read arabic .. the book was hansel and gretel hehe .. i remember she would make me read in front of her friends .. what a showoff o_O

Maher said...

OMG!! I LOVE READING! I LOVE BOOOKSSSS!! although the books that i may be intrested in are the computer related ones.

anyway when i was in school here, i dont think i went to the libarary ever. except that one time when that HOT teacher was in there..ok this is a long story. lol later later

mr.anonymous said... bring back sweet memories of my school library, It had wall long shelves filled with least thats what they told me.

Now replace the book with a video game,the novel with a dvd movie..its like scarlett johansson dipped in honey..converted into a kid's perspective that is..

Maioush said...

Please don't hate me, but I’m one of those who never read, I remember back in college I went to our university library probably 2 or 3 times in 4 years :D ( I know I’m baaaaaaad) but nobody ever read me books when I was little, I never grew up around it, how am I suppose to like it, I barley read for studying, and once I do that I fall asleep :S .. bad Mai bad!!

Hamza said...

you know this is one of the sad things in the middle East world. They don't embed in children the habit of reading.

One more thing, parents can help in influencing the child but if parents don't read to children, it doesn't mean that the child can't develop this skill by himself. Personally, our parents never read for us, yet me and my brothers always buy books and read. My sister is never a fan of books.

kinzi said...

Yup, Sam, I don't see a comment from me here!

As most say, having a parent set an example of reading at least lays a foundation of love for it later. I see you and 7aki instilling that love, and changing culture as you do it. :)

Sam said...

summer he doesnt go to that school kids love library story time...i cant wait to take them again inshallah:)

anon.thank u..i had a dream today that i was asking the book store about those i have to go look for them today:)

batoul maybe i should do what your mom did..and do a book reward:)

jundi..most arab moms are show offs...well not us the older moms:)

maher i love reading everything except school books..kill me but do not ask me to read a business related book ..if i liked reading that i would have been all set...dont remind me i have to star reading on business policy and stratgy gosh how boring! give me a shakspear or a jane austin any day!

mr anon haha...well everyone is different...and although my sister and my brother and i love to other brother would die if u gave him a book to read:) my little brother is like maher..he reads computer books, and encyclopedias!

mai i was going to say my parents didnt read to us either..but come to think of it..they probably did dad used to drag us to
ma3rad elketab in lebanon every year and buy us books...we still have those stories...remi , oliver,and prophet on some level my parents did encourage reading..but they didnt actually sit us down and read to us when we were as little as ziad and bilal..:)and u know i love u..cant hate u even if u dont read...

hamza yeh our parents never really did read to us..but three of us turned into readers..and one of us hates books! :o)

Sam said...

kinzi when i got home last night i checked and though hmm no comment from is ok, like i said i was just just joking:) althoug i like to see your name on my blog...:o)

wonders said...

I read the same mistery solving stories too!! :) i couldn't remember anything about them though except ta5ta5...

tinkerbella said...

good for u sam, reading is very underated in Jordan and even though schools here in the US are great at encouraging kids to read, I think the parents fail to pick up the slack on this and the kids grow into teens who hate books and then adults whose majore reading time is things like perez hilton.
its so sad wallahi, when you think how great books are, for education, for enriching imagination of the child, for encouraging creativity.
i have always been a bookworm, thanks to my mom, altho she hated my choice of books ..hehe :)
bs back to my original point...GOOD FOR YOU! it has been shown that even if the child doesnt understand (like at 7 mo's), reading to them at that age helps them speak, helps them with visualiztion (cuz of the pics in the books) and helps them learn to grow into a love of books!