The Transformative Power of Education
From a non-educated to an educated person
2013/ Amman-Jordan/ Nabila Najjem
I am Nabila Najjem, a housewife, a mother of six boys and a girl, and a grandmother of five. Unfortunately, I married early and could not complete my education.
I love making handicrafts and excel in creating them, thanks be to Allah. I attended educational courses and handicrafts making sessions at Queen Rania Al Abdullah Gardens, along with other women in the local community. This is when I first heard of We Love Reading and went on participate in a training held at its headquarters. Impressed by the initiative, I decided to start a practice to apply my knowledge. Like other reading ambassadors, I received a packs of books, mostly entertaining and educational stories for children of different ages.
I began contacting kids in my neighborhood and invited them to read aloud sessions. The children gathered but we could not find a place to read. I approached the Imam at our local mosque, but he refused due to lack of approval from the Ministry of Religious Endowments. Instead, my husband, who supported me in every step of my project, proposed that I read to the children inside our house. From then on, I met with the children every Saturday and distributed the stories. I also read regularly. My entire family has contributed to my efforts: for example, my daughter Eman and my daughters in law read to the children when I was busy.
The children clearly really enjoyed the stories and they seemed very interested in the topics and pictures; even their parents realized how our reading sessions influenced their children’s personalities and their daily lives. Our neighborhood became one of the cleanest neighborhoods in the region, because the children started recycling some of their house waste. They started saving water and electricity in their own homes and they took tremendous care of their gardens. I became so proud of these accomplishments.
What made me even prouder was when their mothers told me that the children saved some of their pocket money to buy new books, and many of them improved their academic performance because they dedicated time to reading regularly and learning new vocabulary.