Palestine Writing Workshop Gets Kids Excited about Books

Last fall, MECA supported a project to promote reading in schools in the West Bank city of Nablus and nearby refugee camps. The Palestine Writing Workshop (PWW) brought books into high schools, read and discussed them with the students; created a small mobile libraries, brought writers to visit; and formed ongoing book clubs. For younger children, interactive storytelling and puppet shows honed their listening skills and gave them a sense of how much fun reading can be.

Last fall, MECA supported a project to promote reading in schools in the West Bank city of Nablus and nearby refugee camps. The Palestine Writing Workshop (PWW) brought books into high schools, read and discussed them with the students; created a small mobile libraries, brought writers to visit; and formed ongoing book clubs. For younger children, interactive storytelling and puppet shows honed their listening skills and gave them a sense of how much fun reading can be.

The Palestine Writing Workshop began in 2009 with one writing workshop. Since then, PWW’s vision and its range of activities have just kept growing, filling a huge gap in Palestinian schools, where classes are overcrowded, the emphasis is on memorization, and there is no art, music or creative writing instruction.

PWW has become a literacy resource for people throughout Palestine—bringing the skills and the rewards of reading and writing to thousands. Last year, in addition to the Nablus project, MECA made it possible for published writer and PWW staff Maya Abu al-Hayyat to provide training for our partner centers in Gaza on teaching creative writing to children (via Skype).

MECA is now supporting PWW’s “We Love Reading” project—publishing new Arabic books for kids of different ages and doing workshops with mothers about reading aloud to their children.