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Virtual book fair for children held to fill COVID-imposed vacuum

By Joy Mazahreh - Apr 11,2021 - Last updated at Apr 11,2021

AMMAN — Last week, Jabal Amman Publishers launched the first virtual book fair in an attempt to make up for the missed book fairs schools normally organise and attend, which have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID pandemic. 

 A special website was developed for that purpose and 12 leading schools participated in the virtual fair, which offered over 200 books from six top Jordanian Children Publishers, including Jabal Amman Publishers, Madarek, Al Salwa, Dar Al Muna, Dar Al Manhal, and Dar Al Yasmine. 

 Sinan Sweis, founder and general manager of Jabal Amman Publishers, said: “The fair was a valuable opportunity for publishers to reconnect with their audience and market their new titles as well as a valuable opportunity for schools that could not organise book fairs for their students.”

Abeer Al Taher, owner of Al Yasmine for Publishing and Distribution, said it is essential to find new ways to adjust to the current circumstances, imposed by the pandemic, to keep books accessible to children.

Sweis also referred to the Kutubee digital reading platform children, which was initiated as teachers struggled to instill reading habit in students.

“Kutubee is a reading platform currently supporting Arabic, English and French. It contains over 1500 books catering to children age 4-12 and offers an enjoyable and interactive reader-driven journey to advance literacy and ignite creativity,” said Sweis said.

Kutubee is currently used by over 200 schools spread over 22 countries in the region and around the world, according to Sweis.

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