Doha, Qatar – 21 April, 2014:
Under the patronage of the Supreme Education Council (SEC), more than 1,000 school children will attempt to set a new Guinness World Records for the ‘Largest Reading Lesson’, in Arabic on Wednesday 23rd April.
The event, inspired by the annual UNESCO’s World Book Day (WBD), reflects education as a vital component of the Qatar National Vision 2030 human development pillar and also supports the preservation of the Arabic language as core to our cultural heritage. Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme RasGas has joined with Maktaba Qatar (Maktaba) and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) to host the event at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
More than a thousand children, aged between five and ten years, and their teachers, from independent Arabic schools across Qatar, will come together to break the current Guinness World Records, held by the USA with 451 children participating in one reading lesson.
Fauzia Abdalaziz Al Khater, Director of the Education Institute, SEC said, “The SEC is proud to see different organisations like RasGas, Maktaba, and BQFP working together with the collective goal to promote education through this imaginative reading record for Qatar”.
Ali Zayed Al Marri, RasGas’ Public Affairs Manager, commented, “Our collaboration with the SEC, Maktaba and Bloomsbury recognises reading as a vital educational tool that helps build a more cohesive and productive society in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-16”. He added, “Our attempt to break the Guinness World Records in Qatar is a creative and fun approach in encouraging young children to appreciate and develop a life-long love of reading.”
During the event, the children will take part in an hour-long Arabic reading lesson with BQFP children’s book “Anger”, written by Sarah Medina. The reading lesson will be supervised by Guinness World Records adjudicators who will verify, on site, if the attempt has been successful.
RasGas entered into its pioneering partnership with Maktaba in 2013 to promote reading and literacy, especially in Arabic, among young generations. Through its interactive website and mobile applications, Maktaba offers educational Arabic books aimed at young children and their families.
Sarah Champa Al Dafa, founder of Maktaba commented, “Together with RasGas and BQFB, and under the patronage of the SEC, we are delighted to take part in this attempt at a Guinness World Record for the largest children’s Arabic reading lesson. We believe this attempt underscores Qatar's commitment to cultivating a love of reading in Arabic amongst future generations, which, numerous studies have shown is an important predictor of future success.”
Arend Kuster, Director of BQFB, said: "Promoting the love of reading and literacy in Qatar and the region is one of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation's key missions. We are delighted to support this event by designing the lesson content and to donate special edition books to all our participants. This is a wonderful way to get children excited about reading and to be involved in what we hope will be an a wonderful achievement in Qatar."
The initiative will bring to the forefront the wealth of children’s literature in Arabic, supporting the preservation of the language in its spoken and written form.