"Passport" is a book, or rather a pictorial tour guide of Saudi Arabia’s 40 most popular, historical, and sightseeing places for children in the Kingdom. Many writers have contributed to the Passport, which has been compiled by Thuraya Adil Battergee.
Battergee is an artist and the managing director of Kadi and Ramadi, a publishing house in Saudi Arabia that caters to the publishing of children’s books. “This book which looks like a passport is basically a guide for children. We have tried to cover almost every important site in the Kingdom. We want the children to know about all the prominent places in the country.”
The publishing house, Kadi and Ramadi, has been recognized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information for its qualitative work. The publication has also published the first edition of Saudi Children Book Writer & Illustrator’s Guide.
Battergee, who is also involved with an NGO, strives to promote reading among children and the book has been published with the aim of enhancing the knowledge of the young ones.
A trip was also organized for the children to explore some places in Jeddah in association with a nonprofit NGO “Sahafat Al Khair,” commissioned by Princess Nora Bin Abdullah, and Ammanah Jeddah.
“The Jeddah government is also helping us. They have planned many more interesting trips for the children,” said Battergee, adding, that she wants the children to read the book and then see the places in Jeddah and elsewhere. For example, the historical fence, or the ancient house of King Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
To encourage children to read, a competition has been organized for the children, Saudi nationals and expatriates, living in the Kingdom.
The children have to read the book thoroughly and write a short description about the place which has not been mentioned in the book. The contestants then need to attach a picture before sending it to the organizers.
“The children can get their copies of the Saudi “Passport” at Jarir, Virgin Megastores, Ana Ghair Mall or from Kadi and Ramadi office,” said Battergee.
Battergee said the idea of conducting the competition struck her when she noticed that most of the children living in Saudi Arabia did not know anything about the country.
And the competition deemed as the perfect way to make the children read the book and encourage them to explore the country to look out for other new interesting places.
The name of the winners will be announced on September 23, the National Day of Saudi Arabia, in a grand prize distribution ceremony. And like always, there won’t be just top three conventional prizes, instead more than 12 winners will receive interesting prizes.
Eight-year-old Saudi national Abdullah said, “ I am very excited about the competition. I hope I will win because I have already thought of a place to write about and I like it very much.”
Dana, a 10-year-old Saudi participant who is thrilled to participate in the competition and enjoyed the trip, said, “I know this is a very interesting competition and many children will participate. But, I will try to do my best. I love to explore and I have already started searching for new places. I hope I will win the competition.”
Battergee said that this book and competition is a gift to the children from their parents. “We invite all the children living in Kingdom to come forward and participate in the competition. Let’s help our new generation get aware of all the beautiful places in the Kingdom.”