Book fair eye-opener for kids, disabled


Muscat, Feb 26 –
For children and students, the Muscat International Book Fair had plenty to offer, including pavilions dedicated to children’s books, stories, educational games and puzzles.
It has an expanded corner for cultural programmes, a children’s theatre, reading workshop and ‘Friends of Books’ activity.
Children, accompanied either by parents or classmates, expressed joy at the choice of publications available on different topics.
Mohammed Hammed, a Grade 2 student, bought three short story books. “I love reading, want to know how to succeed in life.”
His friend, Muadh Bader, carrying a design game in his hands, said: “I want to become an architect when I grow up. I like assembling and dismantling things.”
At another corner was a pavilion showcasing works of the disabled. In the first three days of the fair, it was meant for the hearing impaired. From Monday to Wednesday, it will be for the visually impaired. And thereafter for the mentally challenged.
Saeed Abdulrazeq, a teacher at Omar bin al Khattab Institute for the Blind, displayed the miniature models of ships and houses made by students.
“These works are made from carton boxes found dumped everywhere. Our students use their imagination to create beautiful things.”
Ahmed al Alawi, another teacher at the institute, explained how the Braille typewriter (Perkins) and Braille Sense work.
The machine has a keyboard with six keys and a space bar. They can be pressed together or separately. Using various combinations of keys on Braille writer produces different Braille letters and symbols.
The corner also saw handicrafts produced by the visually impaired from the institute. “It is challenging but interesting. Seeing what these people create is overwhelming,” said their arts teacher.