Through its history, Qatar has witnessed numerous natural phenomena that have substantially shaped its identity and history. From early agriculture and fishing activities to the colors of the nation's flag, inhabitants of Qatar peninsula have adapted their lives to their unique knowledge of groundwater and sea levels, dune movements, coral reefs, and navigational obstacles. Today, Qatar continues to undergo environmental changes, both natural and manmade, that make it a genuine case study for understanding arid environments.
A crucial element in exploring, building and maintaining this scientific heritage of the nation is instilling a love of reading in future generations. By steering young readers toward books that will increase their understanding of our rapidly changing world and encouraging them to pursue higher education in science and engineering, we can help the leaders of tomorrow build on the advancements of today.
Scientific texts are a key gateway to the study of the advanced topics key to technological growth. Today, most Arab students are introduced to the importance of exploring scientific and technical advances through methodological reading and studying basic scientific concepts.
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However, key issues relating to the sustainability and development of Qatar, such as climate change, water security, desertification, space exploration, renewable energy and food security, remain poorly understood.
To address this deficiency, we are establishing an initiative to attract young readers to science-related books. The Science Book Forum, in partnership with the University of Southern California, will include:
- short videos that introduce specific sets of books on critical scientific questions
- a public forum to discuss critical books on a specific scientific topic relevant to the Arab world
- a monthly follow-up at the Library for young readers to meet scientists and authors
- a digital platform to provide a place for young readers to interact
Through the Science Book Forum, we hope to build scientific curiosity and critical thinking in young learners, and ultimately encourage them to pursue an education in science and engineering fields. We also hope that its success will grow Arab science literature, nationally, regionally and worldwide.