"آسف يا صديقي"

Jan 23, 2018

"We started our project out of a hobby and a passion, we were not seeking any commercialization of it. However, after the Generation of Innovation Leaders training we received from INJAZ Lebanon, we thought we can actually take this project to the next step... We extract stories from incidents that happen around us at school," said Mirvat Awad and Rasha Alwan; two Generation of Innovation Leaders - GIL participants, kids’ books writers, and founders of Karaz project.

Extracting their project idea form their kindergarten teaching background, and passion for writing and drawing; respectively, Mirvat and Rasha thought of bringing interactive educational stories to life. The stories will directly tackle issues kindergarten and elementary school teachers today face on a daily basis. The first story Mirvat and Rasha are working on publishing in both Arabic and French languages is آسف يا صديقي of their حكايات الأصدقاء series. In this story, through the main character Timo, the writers tackle issues of electronic addictions that often result in short sight and accompanying struggles of wearing eyeglasses and of experiencing bullying at schools.

Karaz project does not stop here. To better reach kids' hearts and ears, each story Mirvat and Rasha intend on publishing will have an accompanying song in the two languages. The project was tested on Mirvat's class before being sent for design and music composition. "The kids welcomed and loved the story, so from there we started," reflects Mirvat.

"After we had proposed several project ideas that did not show to be as successful as we had hoped, we were about to surrender and leave the GIL project. But the coach helped the dream grow bigger, even in difficult circumstances. By motivating us to study the market and the social environment around us; psychologically, materially and intellectually, by triggering us to ask questions to the people around, and by mobilizing us to get their insight on the children's story project, the GIL gave us a push to move forward," said Mirvat. She added "INJAZ Lebanon also accompanied us in all our steps from the beginning. Most importantly, INJAZ encouraged us to invest all our energies to be distinctive and become pioneers in what we are doing." All the trainings Mirvat and Rasha underwent were held by INJAZ Lebanon through the funding of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon and the German Embassy of Beirut, with the support of UNICEF Lebanon.

The book “آسف يا صديقي” finally saw the light and the team Karaz succeeded to receive an official statement paper from the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) testifying the quality of the book’s content and its suitability and usefulness for the children, thus, encouraging its usage inside the schools across Lebanon.

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