Rana Dajani

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A resident of an eastern neighbourhood in Amman, Tabarbour, Dajani, who returned to Jordan with her children after having lived in the US, realised that there were no facilities for the neighbourhood children who have to spend most of their time playing in the streets.

While in the US, her children used to go to the library to spend their free time, but where Dajani currently lives, there are no libraries, so she kept on buying books for them.

With the passage of time, Dajani realised that children in the neighbourhood waste their time playing in the streets and that they do not read. Keen to change the situation and encourage children to read, three years ago she launched a project called "We Love Reading".

She started holding reading sessions twice a month in a nearby mosque for her children and 60 others, ranging in age from 4 to 10.

To be able to have more children attend the activity, she worked to raise awareness among the residents of the area on the importance of reading and started collecting simple donations to buy short stories to read to  the children. Her projects have expanded and now they cover areas in Amman, the Jordan Valley and the northern regions.

She also trained 20 women, with the help of the Children‘s Museum, in storytelling, to be able to narrate stories in an attractive way for children.

At the beginning of her project, she faced rejection, objection and lack of interest among families, but they soon started to support her, which motivated her to continue the project.

Lack of financial resource is the main problem; another is a shortage in professional storytellers.

Dajani hopes to expand her project to reach every neighbourhood in the Kingdom. She also hopes to see every mosque include a library for children.

Courtesy of Mohammad Ghazal / The Jordan Times