Within the ‘Children’s Literature’ initiative, led and directed by writer and plastic artist Lina Al-Ali, the Qatari Forum for Authors hosted the two writers Munira Al-Rumaihi and her daughter Dalal Ghanem Al-Rumaihi on Saturday evening to discuss their experience in writing for children. The session was broadcast through the Forum’s YouTube channel.
“Writing for children had been her passion since childhood”, Munira Al-Rumaihi said, “thanks to the cultural ambience she grew up in”. Her specialization in interior architecture, she added, helped her in expanding her understanding and getting to know about different cultures. She brought passion and art together and reflected both of them in her works. Besides, her work at
The publishing house of Hamad Bin Khalifa University has also played a great role in her choice to write, especially as she spends her day working with the books which surrounding and inspiring her. The cultural environment, she ascertained, always spur creativity and innovation.
She also discussed her experience in developing and presenting writing workshops, indicating that she seeks to spread the culture of reading among all, whether children or adults, and to attract writers and Qatari and Arab creators to give workshops. With regard to her workshops, she explained that they are directed to mothers or to children for the most part. She considers school visits to be one of the most important cultural activities she is doing, she continued, because they are a great opportunity to unearth and unlock talents. For this reason, she used to ask the school administration to pay special attention to talented students and encourage their families to support their ambition.
On her writing rituals, she said, she writes whatever thoughts and ideas that come to her mind on her mobile phone without delay, and revisit and refine them whenever once she gets the chance to do. She urged talented authors to draw for themselves to reflect their integrated vision in the book.
With regard to her future projects, the Forum’s guest said she intends to enrich the Qatari library with stories directed to the early childhood, because of the great shortage in this area. She noticed this huge shortage throughout her participation in book fairs. Her primary audience was her children, she pointed out, as she chose to write for children to provide useful and valuable books for her grandchildren. Then, when her children liked her first story “Khayal Manal” (Manal’s Fantasy), she decided to print it and bring it to light.
On the other hand, the 14-year-old writer, Dalal Al-Rumaihi, said she likes and enjoys reading, which helped her develop her writing abilities. She has found an encouraging atmosphere in her house, she added, which helped her to enter the field of writing at an early age. She reported that she discovered her talent since she was 10 years old and that her mother had offered her guidance to refine talent and taken her seriously. Her mother further encouraged her to release a story while she was fearful of the reaction of readers. Her grandfather Saad Al-Rumaihi, who she looks up to as her role model, had been a source of great support for her. of it.
Regarding the importance of social media, Dalal Al-Rumaihi said that it is a double-edged sword which, on the one hand, is a space to introduce her works and abilities, and to show out her talent, and, on the other hand, posed negative and frustrating criticisms and bullying that could discourage her. However, she would always try to benefit from the positive aspects of social media, especially as it has become a basic means of communication among young people.