Arabic music has always been a part of my life—it was the way my parents entertained us in the car on road trips before iPads and car DVDs became popular, and one way we learned a lot about our religion, culture, and heritage. On our annual summer trip to Jordan, our aunts and great aunts would commonly bust out with a tabla and start a dance party in the kitchen while washing dishes, or even sing together cultural songs in preparation for a wedding or graduation party.
Our goal at Maktabatee is to provide you with a toolbox of resources to make Arabic learning fun and accessible. Versatile, interactive, and innovative, the Arabic Letter Connector is the newest tool to be added to the Maktabatee collection. It is made up of 104 magnetic Arabic letters and accent marks and includes a magnetic board that allows Arabic learners to put the letters together to form words.
A few weeks ago, we released a trio of wordless Arabic books published by Hikayati, unlike any others we carry at Maktabatee. My Alphabet (plus coloring book), My Grandmother’s House, and Where? give kids the opportunity to control the narrative of the book by allowing their imagination to determine the plot of each story! The wordless books are beautifully illustrated and have look-and-find and lift-the-flap features that engage readers of all ages. As this is a new concept in the Arabic children’s book space, we asked the founder of Hikayati, Rania El Turk, to help us and other parents better understand how to use wordless Arabic children's books.
I have one underlying theory to how I teach my son Arabic: make him associate Arabic with fun things. My own experience with Arabic growing up was miserable, making me associate the language with painful and boring lessons and constant failure on my part to fully understand. The little I do remember from my childhood Arabic is the fun stuff, and eight years of private school lessons have been blissfully blocked out.
Mozaic was developed to provide the support resettled families need to achieve a healthy and speedy adjustment from where they were to where they are now. Mozaic is staffed by a small army of dedicated volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. On their list is a plan to build a small library for the children of these refugee families, and we couldn’t be happier to support them. A library will become a safe space for children to read, imagine, and explore and Arabic books will help some of those children reconnect with their native language and culture.
When we began this process, we were taken aback by the incredible talent we found, especially the whimsical and creative illustrations that adorned book covers and pages. These illustrations helped the story come alive and made the scenes of the story even more memorable for our kids.
The illustrations of the talented Maya Fidawi stood out among the stories we began compiling for our launch collection.
Spring is here! While some of us may still have snow on the ground from last week’s storm, we can confidently say we’re all ready for some warmth, sunshine, and the great outdoors! In a few weeks, school children here will be off for a week for spring break, with lots of energy to burn and time to kill.
What child doesn’t love caring for a furry pet, visiting the zoo, or watching their favorite animal themed cartoon shows? In fact, if you think about it, so many children’s television characters are animals. Our children’s love for animals is innate, somehow developing at such an early age, even without any pets around.
Whether you are driving or flying, travel can be stressful. Add kids to the equation, and the “to pack” lists can get crazy and overwhelming. The fear of having un-entertained kids on a long car ride or in a stuffy airplane can make even the most seasoned traveler a bit queasy.
Teaching your child Arabic while living in a non-Arabic speaking country is a challenge, especially when you are competing with another dominant language spoken at school, on the playground, and even at home.