Orality to image: Traditional Qatari narratives and visual media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 2009, the Childhood Cultural Centre in the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar developed a series of initiatives aimed at inculcating reading habits among Qatari children. These initiatives were conceived in response to a recent study reporting that Qatari children, outside of school, read roughly a quarter of a page per year compared to children in the United States and the United Kingdom who read an average eight to eleven books per year. Moreover, In a 2007 speech delivered at the Conference on Illiteracy Challenges in the Arab World, Her Highness Sheikah Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, observed that the Arab World faces "several forms of illiteracies," which include "illiteracy of reading and writing" and "illiteracy of culture" (Al-Missned 4). In an effort to tackle these illiteracies in the Arab world, a group of college professors and students in Qatar are working in collaboration and across disciplines to preserve and re-present traditional Qatari culture by adapting cross-generational oral stories into visual form and publishing them in an anthology. The aim of this collection is to educate readers and students about traditional Qatari culture and lore while also promoting an appreciation for reading and the visual arts. By using a popular artistic medium to develop basic literacy skills and to support cultural preservation, our presentation aims to show how cultural and and textual illiteracies in the Arab world can be ameliorated in innovative, imaginative ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of the Book
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • Arab
  • Collaboration
  • Comic books
  • Graphic design
  • Image
  • Literacy
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Orality
  • Qatar
  • Undergraduate research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Communication

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