A fun way of teaching Saudi children about importance of home during pandemic

The title cover of the book ‘I Have a House That Keeps Me Safe.’ (Supplied)
The title cover of the book ‘I Have a House That Keeps Me Safe.’ (Supplied)
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Updated 26 July 2021

A fun way of teaching Saudi children about importance of home during pandemic

The title cover of the book ‘I Have a House That Keeps Me Safe.’ (Supplied)
  • “To describe the coronavirus at the time was difficult; it had no features or description other than that we were in grave danger”

JEDDAH: With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic still raging throughout the world more than a year on, Saudi children have a heightened sense of awareness of the issue with the help of parents, schools and books too.
Experts agree that reading can be a good way to adapt to living under lockdown, and navigating through life afterward. That is why Saudi authors have targeted younger audiences to help them deal with the situation through books.
Above all, shelter has a great impact on a person’s sense of security and safety, peace and comfort, helping children learn, confront obstacles and understand how to solve them.
“I Have a House That Keeps Me Safe” is a children’s book written by 23-year-old Saudi law student Dhay Al-Saleem. It is the story of a little boy named Waseem who questions the need to stay at home during the early days of lockdown in the Kingdom. To better understand the situation his family is in, his mother finds ways to teach him about infectious germs and how they can make people sick, emphasizing the need to stay at home as it provides shelter and protects from the invading bugs.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Written in both Arabic and English, the book was recently published by King Faisal University.

• The book is written by 23-year-old Saudi law student Dhay Al-Saleem.

• It is the story of a little boy named Waseem who questions the need to stay at home during the early days of lockdown in the Kingdom.

Written in both Arabic and English, the book was recently published by King Faisal University, and Al-Saleem told Arab News: “I hope we will not need a second edition with the return to normal life.”
In the first days of the pandemic, things were “murky … how it appeared, how it spread, the effects and symptoms of its transmission — there wasn’t enough information and everything was ambiguous,” Al-Saleem said. “To describe the coronavirus at the time was difficult; it had no features or description other than that we were in grave danger.”
National leaders emphasized the necessity of staying at home as the first step to addressing the pandemic. “The solution was quite simple: Nothing else could protect you then but your home.”
The name of the story came in conjunction with the boredom of children after a long stay at home. The goal was to teach them to appreciate the value of having a shelter.
She said mental health in children was a field that needed attention, especially with regard to the mechanism of resuming life post lockdown, living with the reality that one can get sick through so many things in life.
“Play and communication are part of the child’s development process; what happened, with the need not to have live communication, had a noticeable negative impact,” she added.