A pile of colourful vintage Arabic school books in Liwan's library.

Tales and Traditions: Arabic Children's Literature through Heritage, Modernity, Archiving and Education

Past Event

Liwan Design Studios and Labs is pleased to present the first Liwan Library Symposium: First Edition

Tales and Traditions: Arabic Children's Literature through Heritage, Modernity, Archiving and Education

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An important part of Liwan Design Studios and Labs mission is to archive and preserve. During its years as a school, the building held over 2000 books, some dating back to 1956. As part of Liwan's archival project, a restoration of 850 children's storybooks showcasing some of the best late 20th-century typography, illustration, and design from the Arab world, including iconic illustrations and designs by Helmy El Touny and Burhan Karkoutly have been carefully archived and are now on display.

The archive is home to the work of a generation that directly inspired so much of the contemporary art and design culture in the Arab world. The library houses books from some of the most iconic Arab publishing houses, including the Lebanese Dar Al-Fata Al-Arabi and the Egyptian Dar al-Hilal, just a few of the publishing houses featured in the library.

In honouring the past to celebrate the future and highlight our unique library, Liwan is pleased to present the first regional Children's Library Symposium. The Symposium is a multi-day event that brings together local and regional Arabic literature and history experts. From timeless classics such as Hayy bin Yaqdhan to discussions on the impact of digital publishing, archiving and learning through storytelling the Symposium will delve into the profound influence of Arabic literature on children's education. The Symposium is our way of bridging the past with the future and nurturing young minds through the magic of storytelling.

This Symposium will also amplify Palestinian voices with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Palestinian speakers will join us to discuss the humanitarian situation and writing, publishing and illustrating for children under the occupation of Palestine. As well as exhibiting books from our vast collection of children's literature on the issue, we will include two workshops on using artistic expression to document violations committed by the occupation.

Qatar Red Crescent will collect donations during the Symposium. All proceeds will go towards humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Speakers include:

Sunday, October 29

Topic 1: Children's Literature and Education

  • Amina Ahmadi, Children's Author and Architect
  • Asmaa Al Kuwari, Writer
  • Haya Al-Dosari, Researcher and Literary Critic
  • Hajar Al Tarouti, Founder, Qamar's Story Library for Children and Teenagers, Saudi Arabia

Topic 2: Children's Literature in The Gulf: History and Heritage

  • Hadil Miqdadi, Children's Books Translator, Writer, and Producer
  • Dr. Nizar Chakroun, Writer and Cultural Advisor to The Qatari Ministry of Culture
  • Yassin Ayari, Composer and Music Advisor, Academyati and Tariq Bin Ziyad Schools

Monday, October 30

Topic 3: Creating Literature for Arab Children

  • Susan Parker Levy, Head of the Museum of Islamic Art Library, Qatar Museums
  • Walid Taher, Children's Books Writer and Designer
  • Amr bin Humaidan, Children's Author, Educational Technology Entrepreneur and Founder, Asafeer

Tuesday, October 31

Topic 4: Archiving and Translations

  • [KEYNOTE] Dr. Hisham Al-Awadi, History Professor, American University of Kuwait
  • Hadil Miqdadi, Children's Books Translator, Writer, and Producer, Jordan
  • Ismail Nashif, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Program, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
Download Agenda
Register here