[The following is a roundup of the latest news and analysis from the publishing world that relates to pedagogy and knowledge production. It was originally published on Tadween Publishing`s blog. For more updates, follow Tadween Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.]
Palestine Festival of Literature: Reading across borders
M. Lynx Qualey (Chicago Tribune)
For the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, M. Lynx Qualey explains the difficulty that one young woman from Hebron, Walaa Alqasiya, faces in order to travel to sites of the Palestine Festival of Literature. Qualey highlights the challenges that walls and borders create for making literature accessible to Palestinians.
Can Baghdad Reclaim Its Title As Intellectual Capital of the Middle East?
By Birgit Svensson (Worldcrunch)
The US invasion of Iraq and subsequent turmoil changed more than just the balances of power. It resulted in a brain drain on a country whose capital was once hailed for its intellectual wealth. As the years pass, will Baghdad, and its bookish Mutanabbi Street, reclaim its scholarly past?
Design for Baghdad’s New Mega-library
The design for Baghdad’s first public library in 30 years was released in early June. Although the plans look promising, questions remain over whether or not it will fulfill its purpose of becoming a beacon of knowledge in the country.
(Part I) Debate: The Arab world is facing a publishing crisis
By Ranaa Idriss (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Ranaa Idriss, director of Dar Al-Adab Publishing House in Beirut, warns that the situation for Arab publishing is dire. Conflict in the region, particularly in Syria, has made distribution to the Arabic-speaking market difficult, and without the consumption of books in the Gulf states, the industry would be lost, she argues.
(Part II) Debate: The Arab world is not facing a publishing crisis
By Mohamed Hashem (Asharq Al-Awsat)
In a counter piece to Ranaa Idriss’s argument that Arab publishing is facing a crisis, Mohamed Hashem, director of Merit Publishing House in Cairo, argues that the real crisis is a reading crisis. Hashem claims that publishing is not the problem, but the low demand for Arabic reading material does not bode well for publishers.
A Conversation With the World Bank’s Higher Ed Leader
By Rasha Faek (Al Fanar)
Al Fanar interviews the World Bank’s head of higher education, Francisco Marmolejo, about the organization’s vision for education around the world, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Syria’s children being educated in camps (video)
By Bernard Smith (Al Jazeera)
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith draws attention to the dire need for education materials in a Syrian refugee camp. With little resources, dozens of children pack into a small tent that has been transformed into a classroom, illustrating the lack of capacity that camps have for continuing children’s education amidst conflict.
Building schools for Morocco’s rural poor
Valentina Crosato (Your Middle East)
Valentina Crosato examines a new education-based NGO’s initiative to expand education to Morocco’s rural areas. Along with bringing education to hard-to-reach villages, Teach4Morroco also aims to introduce a new innovative style of education that hopes to embrace the individual talents of young students.
With Egypt in limbo, schools crumbling
By Lauren E. Bohn (CNN)
Amid political and economic woes, Egypt’s education system continues to suffer. Lauren E. Bohn explores the many challenges facing Egypt’s defunct education system and several innovative, start-up projects that are attempting to fill the void.