Qatar Museums, the body responsible for developing, promoting and sustaining Qatar’s cultural sector under the visionary guidance of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani launched a range of new books to celebrate the 25th Doha International Book Fair, which ran from 7th – 17th January 2015 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
This year’s Book Fair marked the launch of the Qatar Museums Family Programmes’ exciting first publication, a book for young children called What’s in the Sand? The book, by Qatari writer Shaikha Alzeyara and Qatari illustrator Mai al Kubaisi, is a story of adventure, imagination and a mother’s love and support for her children. Available in both English and Arabic, What’s in the Sand? is designed to encourage children’s literacy from an early age and highlight the importance of a mother’s bond with her young children to learn and play together. To mark the book release, a number of exciting events at the Book Fair were organised, including story reading, hands-on activities and an author and illustrator signing.
Maram Al Mahmoud, Museums Coordinator-Families, QM Family Programmes said:
“The idea of this book sprung from a previous workshop that was offered to local mothers and young children aged 0-4. As it was a great pleasure to work with such an inspiring group, we realised the need for a publication to support family learning. It is an honour to have launched the book at this year’s book fair as it’s important to highlight all the great Qatari cultural content that is on offer, as well as to support Qatari writers and illustrators.”
Shaikha Alzeyara, What’s in the Sand? author said:
“It was an honour to cooperate with Qatar Museums through this book and to participate with Family Programmes in their creative activities, which aim to support Qatari families by enhancing the bonds between its members in inspiring ways. What`s In The Sand? is a story that urges mothers to enrich the imagination of their children through play, discovery and sharing moments. I would like to thank Qatar Museums for their innovative ideas in nurturing children`s culture in modern ways and through interactive programs.”
Mai Al Kubaisi, What’s in the Sand? illustrator said:
"What's in the sand?" was my first peek into the world of children's books. It was exciting to be a part of and I really felt the lightness, simplicity and joyful nature of the story. It was a unique experience that I will cherish for days to come.”
The Doha International Book Fair also saw Fatema Al Sulaiti, Associate Deputy Director for Collection at Qatar Museums launch two of her latest books – Fatimid Woodwork and Architecture Development.
Fatimid Woodwork highlights a unique craft and medium of design in the Fatimid Era. It presents examples of the finest Fatimid woodwork of both Islamic and Coptic origin and aims to show that Fatimid art is a historic style in its own right. Architecture Development provides insight into how traditional Islamic towns and cities were conceived, organised, and developed over long periods of time, following simple rules that were based on religious and ethical values.
This year’s Doha International Book Fair featured thousands of books from more than 30 countries, bringing to light some of the unique aspects of Qatar’s culture and heritage. What’s in the Sand?, Fatimid Woodwork and Architecture Development are now available for purchase at Qatar Museums’ retail outlets located at the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Musuem of Modern Art at Qatar Foundation, Al Zubarah, QM galleries at Al Riwaq and Katara and at Virgin Megastore and WH Smith outlets in Doha.
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