Read to Me Baba Campaign 2015
The National Reading Campaign launched in April 2015, bears a humane slogan that urges the awakening of the self: “Something awaits you in this World. Arise!” The slogan emphasizes the role of the individual within society, and here we are once again, continuing on our path, to call out to Fathers and grandfathers, and all they symbolize in Palestinian society: something awaits us in this world, so let us stand up, share and contribute to enriching the culture of our society and children, to re-examine stagnant dynamics resulting from daily circumstance; to draw closer to one another through reading, playing, and taking part in the activities that will be held in this year’s campaign – where grandchildren, fathers, and grandfathers will read stories, and weave together a permanent dream; to become an independent self within a free society, playing together, reading, writing, and strolling along inside a safe environment to explore humanity, and the land upon which they tread.
At a time when fathers are helpless to protect their children from violations committed by the Israeli occupation, often living through trying socio-economic circumstances, we strive to try, along with fathers and through them, in creating parallel universes; spaces that provide a feeling of security, as well as the ability to bring to existence, small communities, inside homes, or even in the shade beneath a neighborhood tree – all to restore the father’s confidence in the importance of their role: to achieve security, intimacy, and social balance, th rough the close bonds fathers build with their children, especially when a general air of hopelessness looms upon us. For reading is not constricted to our recent context, as it is a habit tied to the process of learning and the broadening of horizons, but reading goes far and beyond to become a necessity; a haven within a living nightmare. Reading is when fathers directly say to their children: “Come! Let us play, sing, and read together!”.
The Read to Me Baba Campaign, an initiative launched by Tamer Institute for Community Education in 2010, is part of a process that seeks to rebuild the social fabric, and to reconsider the role of the father within a social and humanistic context, for reading is a live and all-encompassing activity that is closely tied to providing a more humane, social atmosphere that contributes to deepening and enriching culture in Palestinian society.
Because reading itself has social and psychological dimensions, it was only natural that we seek a prominent social category, that of fathers, whose daily lives are often distracting them from the joy of spending time with their children, to talk and play along, hence, how can books, trips, and playtime act as key elements in fostering deeper connections; to shift paradigms, transforming what was once commanding and authoritarian becomes a gentle partnership – a significant and unique daily event, that paves the way for fathers to become as admired as characters from a beloved story; fathers who can see the impact of stories on children’s facial expressions, to know what worlds they love to explore; recognize their fears, worries, and daily situations, reaching deep into their hidden realms, which can never be discovered save when there are continuous and intimate ties, when the father becomes a haven with a purpose, instead of refusing to be more understanding, and rather than merely being a metaphor as opposed to being a reality.
As Tamer Institute works towards a free and safe Palestinian learning community, reading is a vital tool in transforming conventional social thought for more creative thinking filled with life and freedom. It can transform reality to creativity that can give wings for imagination to take flight and run wild, to bring forth a generation capable of thinking and planning a long-term vision, to be part of a free and creative Palestinian culture that nurtures and reshapes the home we all love.
Participation is greatly encouraged in schools, homes, and neighborhoods. We also encourage participation at different venues and activities held by the institute.
For more information, contact us:
Ramallah Headquarters, Tel. +972 2 298 6121/2
Gaza Headquarters, Tel. +972 8 284 3799