About the Programme

The Arab Regional Children’s Literature and Reading Programme of the Anna Lindh Foundation aims at developing children's literature and promoting reading for pleasure in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, especially in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon.

Our mission is to foster the development of children in the Arab region through promoting among children the reading of Arabic children’s books. 

It is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Reading for Fun is Reading for Development

Our point of departure is the right of all children (according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) to develop to the fullest and participate in cultural and social life, without discrimination. Promoting reading among children is to promote the emotional, social and intellectual development of children and enable them to participate in the development of their society.

Reading for Enjoyment in the Arab Region

Reading for enjoyment among children is not widespread in the Arab region.  It is related to the relatively low interest in reading in the Arab region as well as the common perception that reading for enjoyment is a luxury and that reading should be primarily geared towards learning.  Children rarely read books other than their textbooks. In addition, the distinction between spoken and literary Arabic leads to reading difficulties among children in Arabic, and reading faces still competition from other sources of entertainment such as television and the internet.