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Characters Channeled to the Arab Youth Through Media.
Third Meeting: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, April, 2001.

This meeting was about characters used in media, publishing houses and cultural, literary and artistic products, specifically channeled to the youth.

The reason behind choosing this subject goes in two directions:

- Realizing the big influence these characters have in forming children’s perceptions and values connected to it, then discussing how to use them in TV programs, magazines, newspapers, theater, video films, cartoons, tails, stories, songs, toys making and school books.

- Creating alternatives of the dangerous characters invading the world at the moment, specially the Arab World, and the importance of using characters from the Arab World and the Arab “cultural roots” that are not being used currently in the cultural products of the Arab World.

24 people from 8 Arab countries attended this meeting, and 19 proposals were presented about different subjects.

Participants and summary of proposals:

From Egypt:
Hasan Al Gritly (Alwarsha Almasraheya Group): Spoke about their work with children in different areas of Egypt by using folk tales and traditional characters such as Abu Zeid Elhelali to develop creativity works for kids.

Muhye Ed’een Allabbad: Well known children books painter/cartoonist, working for Alfata Al Arabi pulishing house and some other publishers, spoke about his history with painting for children and about children books in general and how they affect youth’s vision of the world.

Shwikar Khalifa (Vise President of Child and Family TV Channel at Nile TV): Well known character in the field of training youths on producing cartoons and characters for children.

Rania Amin: Children writer and painter spoke about the character she created, very happy with it. She wrote a series of children’s books talking about this character that is very much like the Egyptian Arabic child.

Nuha Shqal (ART Teenz): Spoke about the role ART Teenz TV can play in developing Arabic characters channeled to Arab youth.

From Palestine:
Mary Fasheh: Specialized in children libraries, worked with Tamer Institute for Community Education in a reading promoting campaign, she talked about it and specifically about characters in children’s books channeled to children with special needs.

Marina Ibrahim (Enad Theatre): Showed a film that illustrates their work in Palestine with children living difficult circumstances, where they help them express themselves by identifying different characters.

From Jordan:
Margo Mlatigelian (Specialized in organizing reading and theatre activities for children): Spoke about her long experience in the field of publishing and narrating children’s stories.

Muna Hening (Muna Publishing House/Sweden): Presented the Swedish experience of children literature characters through “Janan” character. She translated and published it in Arabic language and it got so popular between Arab Children.

From Lebanon:
Fadia Hutait: Social researcher. She wrote a book about gender roles in children literature in the Arab World.

Hassan Abdullah: Writer and poet. He presented some beautiful and sweet examples of poetry that reaches children without direct preaching.

Elian Alraheb (One of Shams Founders): Spoke of how we can use films with characters representing real human life.

From Kuwait:
Taghreed Alqudsi (Kuwait University & Kuwait Society for the Advancement of Arab Children): Spoke about her work in publishing children’s books through the association.

Mohammed Rajab Alnnajar (Kuwait University): Spoke about “Juha” character in Arab and children literature.

Waleed Alawadi: Young director. Spoke of his experience in directing films in Arab countries and USA.

Joint TV Productions Company (Mrs. Bushra Alhazeem, Mr. Osama Romani, and Mr. Naser Alzayer): Presented a brilliant experience of “Sesame street” project.

From Saudi Arabia:
Nafisa Abbas: Writer and a teacher at Dhahran Schools. Spoke of her experience in writing stories to be used in an educational program that teaches children language at Dhahran Schools.

From Morocco:
Najima Thaythay: Ibn Zahr University. Spoke about “Sabk Hekaya” Festival, in which they use tails to teach children language and strengthen the bond between them and their identity and local/Arabic heritage at the same time.

From Tunisia:
Nafila Dahab: Writer. Spoke about her experience with writing for children.



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