HBKU Press Highlights the Importance of Literature this International Day of Education

HBKU Press Highlights the Importance of Literature this International Day of Education

Doha, January 23, 2024 – Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is an ardent supporter of literature and learning, which is why this International Day of Education, the publishing house is taking the opportunity to emphasize the power of literature as an impactful tool for positive change. First proclaimed by UNESCO in 2018,  this year’s theme is  “Learning For Lasting  Peace ” and emphasizes the importance of  combating the alarming rise of conflict fueled by discrimination, racism, xenophobia, misinformation, and an all-too-high number of other hate-fueled attitudes. Literature therefore serves as a potent remedy, a supplemental treatment in the search for a cure for violence. Reading promotes the cultivation of knowledge, values, and attitudes that serve as the building blocks for a tolerant and globally-minded citizen.

“HBKU Press is an international publisher that introduces pioneering Qatari, Arab, and regional voices to the world,” said Bachar Chebaro, Executive Director of HBKU Press. “This International Day of Education, we are especially proud of these voices which often contribute to critical global discourse and approach complex topics through a unique perspective. We also publish and translate books that carry with them messages on the importance of learning at all ages, as well as books which are educational in their very nature and ability to impart profound lessons on our collective human experience.”

While young readers may not yet be able to travel the world on their own, books provide  fantastic opportunities to  explore faraway lands and discover the magic of diversity from home. Recipe for Home by Ghenwa Yehia takes young readers on a delicious journey around the globe as they experience the world through food. Layan and her friends explore cuisines and cultures through recipes written with pride and heritage in the universal language of love and  importance of home – wherever that may be. A Recipe for Home is an award-winning title, having won the International Book Awards first-place spot in the Cultural Diversity and Family Matters category. 

Engaging with books at a young age is not just an exercise in training the imagination, but an opportunity to gain valuable exposure to new cultures and ideas. This, in turn, helps cultivate young readers into the empathetic and knowledgeable citizens necessary to preserve the peace of tomorrow. Royal Dragonfly award-winner One Box, Many Hearts by Bayan Khaled also stresses the importance of cultivating home wherever one finds it, and the need for understanding and community when making a big move from one culture to another. Lana and her family are forced to leave their home because of conflict, but will she ever be able to find a new one?

HBKU Press’ adult offerings include The Cultural Landscape of Qatar by Mufleh Al-Anzi, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the multicultural nature of Qatar. Through the author’s own extensive professional experience in culturally diverse institutions around the world and travels to more than thirty countries, this book offers readers  nuanced and expert knowledge, serving as an accurate resource for social scientists, managerial staff, and leaders within multinational contexts. 

Finally, The Last Days of Terranova by acclaimed Spanish writer Manuel Rivas tells a moving story about Terranova, a family-owned library in danger of closing for good. Once the home of valuable cultural treasures in the form of books and ideas migrated across vast borders and seas, Terranova is a symbol for the importance of preserving and protecting knowledge, history, and literature in a world experiencing desperate need for positive change.