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Books Promote Tolerance And Acceptance Of Individuality

Kalimat Publishing House, the first entity in the UAE dedicated solely to publishing and distributing quality Arabic children’s books, hosted a book signing with author Sahar Naja Mahfouz on Saturday 19 November as part of Kalimat’s activities at the 2011 Sharjah International Book Fair.

The signing was for Ms Mahfouz’s books Horoufi Tarquis (My Letters are Dancing) and Zarafa Mylia (Mylia the Giraffe).Through these stories the author and mother of three conveys the need for tolerance and acceptance of individuality, particularly in the context of the diverse mix of cultures within the UAE.

Horoufi Tarquis looks at a little boy’s reluctance to wear glasses when it is discovered that he has bad eyesight. He fears that wearing glasses will change his appearance, until he finds a pair that makes him look ‘cool’. It is a creative and heart-warming tale that deals with children’s fear of being different, and of accepting what cannot be changed. With lovely illustrations and a simple but well-written story, the book offers a positive perspective on the experience of getting glasses.

Zarafa Mylia, in turn, tells the story of Mylia who has no friends as she looks different from all the other animals on the farm. But when a little lamb goes missing, Mylia is the only one able to help – precisely because she is different! The book offers a fun read that is all about friendship, teamwork and appreciating everyone’s individual qualities. It also conveys the important message that children should not judge potential friends based on their outward appearance.

Ms Mahfouz, who has lived in the UAE for the past 20 years, graduated from the American University of Beirut and works as the office and public relations manager for the Sharjah branch of the Abu Dhabi-based UAE Central Bank.

Kalimat is the first publishing house in the UAE dedicated solely to publishing and distributing high-quality Arabic books for children aged 0 to 16 years. With a portfolio of internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators, Kalimat’s extensive range of books highlights traditional Arabic culture alongside the modern challenges faced by today’s children, with the aim of imparting a life-long love of reading and Arabic literature to Arab children.

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