What We Are Reading Today: The Children’s Book Club

Updated 04 May 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Children’s Book Club

The summer vacation is a great time for parents to spend more time with their children, discover their skills and invest in them. Parents can use the break as a way to develop some good habits with their kids, such as spending more time reading and less time in front of a screen.

Reading is always fun when you have great books, but finding the right ones for your children is not always easy.

There is a fantastic service offered by King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Riyadh — The Children’s Book Club.

It is an annual subscription to receive a box of books prepared, wrapped and shipped.

Members receive 24 books: 12 fiction and 12 non-fiction. The books are distributed into 12 envelopes, with parents handing one out every month.

Each envelope contains two books, an activity sheet for the child and a newsletter for the parents.

The annual subscription costs SR400 ($107) and the price covers packing and delivery expenses.

People can buy a charity subscription that costs SR100. Alternatively they can encourage their children to put their pocket money or savings toward a charity subscription.

Details are available on www.kapl.org.sa.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.