Learning the art of cartooning

Updated 17 December 2012
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Learning the art of cartooning

A training course held by cartoonist and trainer Salah Al-Aweid that aimed to explore new talents in the field of cartoon-drawing has successfully discovered 50 promising and talented cartoonists.
Al-Aweid, in a lecture at the Aramco cultural program in Al-Hasa, underlined the importance of color and font in determining the effectiveness of caricatures and the messages they convey. “Factors such as the thickness of the lines, use of color and image all play a significant role in understanding the message,” he said referring to the training courses delivered through the program.
He added that all social classes can relate to caricatures owing to their simplicity and clarity and also thanks to their humorous and satirical approach at conveying complex messages.
He said that the course, which lasted 45 minutes, has raised the level of the artistic awareness for participants, as well as strengthening their cognitional and creative brainstorming skills. He pointed out that caricatures have become effective tools in conveying important modern-day themes.
“For us, this training course has altered a number of concepts concerning the art of caricature,” said participant Nezar Al-Musa, along with Noah Jaber and Mustafa Al-Qatifi. They said in comparison with comedic sketches, caricature-drawing makes implicit statements without alluding to any one party. They emphasized the fact that all cartoonists are entrusted with the task of relaying the concerns and views of ordinary people in a simple yet creative and effective manner.


Grandma Stories: Saudi storyteller teaches values and critical thinking by letting children speak up

Updated 22 April 2018
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Grandma Stories: Saudi storyteller teaches values and critical thinking by letting children speak up

  • Storytelling is not only a fun way to ignite imaginations; it also improves children’s verbal and critical thinking abilities, says Yamani
  • Yamani has read stories in both Arabic and English for more than 6,000 children of 15 nationalities all over the Kingdom and the Gulf region

DHAHRAN: You can see children forming a gigantic circle and listening carefully when story time starts. Ghadeer Yamani, the founder of Grandma Stories, found her passion for spreading the love of reading among children and delivering values through her storytelling sessions.
The Grandma Stories initiative started six years ago when Yamani returned home after spending years abroad owing to her husband’s work. Yamani has read stories in both Arabic and English for more than 6,000 children of 15 nationalities all over the Kingdom and the Gulf region, including the UAE and Bahrain.
“The idea of Grandma Stories was not an epiphany; it came to me after I saw how reading was a huge part of children’s life abroad. I used to see children reading in libraries, in bus stops, in hospitals — everywhere. I wanted to help spread reading culture in my society.
“I wanted children back home to love reading! And with the support of my husband and family, I think I was able to do this,” Yamani told Arab News.
With the prevalence of national reading competitions, school contests and reading clubs, awareness among families and society members is growing. “The interaction and excitement of families and children are amazing when it comes to story time,” said Yamani.
About the title of her initiative, she said: “When I was a child I used to visit my father’s grandmother in Madinah who had a phenomenal way of telling stories and riddles. I still remember how the entire family would get around her as she started telling her tales, and in an atmosphere filled with love and contentment.
“No one ever wanted her stories to finish and nothing could ever distract us while listening to her. That is exactly how I want children to feel in Grandma Stories story time.”
Storytelling is not only a fun way to ignite imaginations; it also improves children’s verbal and critical thinking abilities. Yamani allows children to criticize the stories by pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each one. The advancement in such skills is what inspires Yamani and keeps her going.
“The fondest moments throughout my years in storytelling have been when mothers come and tell me how their children used to be shy and reluctant but have started to become fluent and can express themselves well, and that Grandma Stories is the reason for this great progress.”