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The Tamer-Institute in Ramallah

Promoting Reading in in the West Bank and Gaza

2009-9-29

in the Tamer Institute

With perseverance, audacity and resourcefulness, the Tamer Institute for Community Education has, for two decades, stimulated Palestinian children’s and young adults’ love of reading – and their creativity. For promoting reading under difficult circumstances the institute was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2009. The award was presented by HRH Crown Princess Victoria on 2 June 2009 in the Stockholm Concert Hall in the presence of the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

Innovative reading promotion despite of difficult circumstances
The Tamer Institute for Community Education in Ramallah is an independent organisation that has carried out reading promotion work for children and young people in West Bank and Gaza since 1989. The Tamer Institute was founded to give children access to books and alternative learning as children’s and young people’s schooling, leisure time and lives suffered from the troubles in the area. The Tamer Institute also hands out reading passports. Holders get a stamp for every book they have read. This is a clear symbol of the fact that there are no borders for those who can read books. As Astrid Lindgren said: “Good children’s literature gives the child a place in the world and the world a place in the child”.

The Tamer Institute is the hub of a network that works with writing workshops, storytelling, drama and literary discussion for children and young people. They supply libraries with children’s books and they train librarians and parents. A national reading campaign is organised every year, culminating with National Reading Week. In 2008, the campaign reached 52,000 children in refugee camps and remote villages and communities, who took part in literary discussion, drama and drawing and writing workshops.

The Tamer Institute also carries out youth activities. The young people, who have often participated in Tamer’s work since they were children, publish their own newspaper, Yara´at, among other things. They use it to publish their thoughts, poems and stories. When the Tamer Institute was founded, there were virtually no Palestinian children’s books. The organisation has now published more than 130 titles and several of the children who attended the Tamer Institute’s writing workshops have started to write their own books as adults.

Despite difficult circumstances, the Tamer Institute works tirelessly on many levels to create a better situation for Palestinian children and young people via literature. Their conviction that words can tear down walls has resulted in innovative reading promotion activities of an unusual breadth, for which reason the Tamer Institute has been awarded the 2009 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Website: www.tamerinst.org

The jury’s reasons
With perseverance, audacity and resourcefulness, the Tamer Institute has, for two decades, stimulated Palestinian children’s and young adults’ love of reading – and their creativity. Under difficult circumstances, the Institute carries out reading promotion of an unusual breadth and versatility. In the spirit of Astrid Lindgren, the Tamer Institute acknowledges the power of words and the strength of books, stories and imagination as important keys to self-esteem, tolerance and the courage to face life.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA)
The award was presented by HRH Crown Princess Victoria on 2 June 2009 in the Stockholm Concert Hall in the presence of the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.
This year’s award was the seventh. The previous winners are Sonya Hartnett (2008), Banco del Libro (2007), Katherine Paterson (2006), Philip Pullman (2005), Ryôji Arai (2005), Lygia Bojunga (2004), Christine Nöstlinger (2003) and Maurice Sendak (2003).
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young people’s literature. The prize totals SEK 5 million (equivalent to approx. USD 578,000, 445,000 EUR) and is awarded annually to a single recipient or to several. Authors, illustrators, storytellers and those active in reading promotion may be rewarded. The prize aims to strengthen and increase interest in children’s and young people’s literature globally. The award is designed to strengthen children’s rights at global level. An expert jury names prize-winners who are nominated by institutions and organisations worldwide. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is administered by the Swedish Arts Council.

Kontakt:
Agnes Lidbeck
Information Officer, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Phone: +46 (0)76 540 10 17
E-Mail: agnes.lidbeck@alma.se
Internet: www.alma.se

 
 

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