Malak is the co-author of the children’s book in English and Standard Arabic: Where is Our Home? اين منزلنا ؟. She studies Creative Writing and Marketing at NYU Abu Dhabi and hopes to pursue a career in content creation and communications. Her passion for writing is channeled through working with non-profit organizations, corporate companies, and small publications. Her writing has joined conferences and publications in Cairo, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. She also writes regularly for NYU Abu Dhabi’s student publication, The Gazelle. In her free time, Malak enjoys cooking, reading, and taking photographs of what is often overlooked in life.
Creative Approaches to Multilingual Early-childhood Literacy in Standard Arabic, English & Braille for Contexts of Displaced and Refugee Children in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): How students from across the world unified to publish the children’s book Where is Home? أين هو المنزل؟
Where is Home? أين هو المنزل؟ is an international children’s book project. Students from 10 countries, through research and need-based approaches, in collaboration with We Love Reading—an NGO promoting literacy education in 50 countries—have produced a book in English, Standard Arabic and currently, Braille, addressing the themes of identity, global diversity, and multiculturalism for refugee children ages 5 to 7.
ElevatED is the NYUAD student group on education aiming to facilitate spaces of dialogue and exchange to engage critically and creatively in education. We Love reading, a Jordanian NGO—which has founded 4300+ libraries, as well as refugee camps—along with ElevatED, began working together to publish a book for ages 5 -7 in Standard Arabic and English about identity, belongingness, and mobility, with displaced and refugee-status children and their families in Jordan as the main target audience. Where is Home? أين هو المنزل؟ tells the story of a child who travels with his family around the world depicting illustrated images from China to Antarctica, and across to the Amazon.
This proposal falls under the Summit category of a report on issues related to Early-childhood Literacy, Literacy and Technology, Multilingual Inclusive Literacy, and Literacy Education in Refugee Contexts. The presentation will showcase: how ElevatED came about this project; the research and data on Multilingual Early-childhood Literacy in refugee contexts in Jordan; the writing, translation and illustration methods; and the current focus on Braille. In addition, it presents an interdisciplinary strategy on how to use technology to enhance literacy. This is because the next goal after the publication of the first edition is to develop an e-learning animated version of the book for organizations promoting e-learning in the MENA region and beyond with students of Interactive Media, Music, and Theatre. This international children’s book will be launched at the Comparative International Education Society annual conference in March CIES 2020 Miami: Education Beyond the Human. ElevatED aspires to develop in this Summit alliances with higher education institutions and literacy practitioners, to collaborate on publishing more books, and on the translation of Where is Home? into more languages, including, local sign languages from different corners of our planet.