The Tamer Institute For Community Education has been awarded the 2009 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award which is the world’s largest prize for children’s literature. The award is named after the Swedish author of “Pippi Longstocking” and the cash prize is a little over $600,000. On the their website, the Ramallah based institute states that its focus is “principally on the rights to education, identity, freedom of expression, and access to information, Tamer works across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, primarily targeting children and young people and developing alternatives and supplements to formal education.” The institute publishes children’s books and educational material as part of its program.
The organizers of the award said in a statement that “With perseverance, audacity and resourcefulness, the Tamer Institute has, for two decades, stimulated Palestinian children’s and young adults’ love of reading and their creativity…Under difficult circumstances, the institute carries out reading promotion of an unusual breadth and versatility.” A program director for the institute, Ruba Toha, said that the prize is dedicated to the children of Palestine.
Kudos to the Tamer Institute for supplying educational services and providing inspiration to young Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza through reading. Their work in providing educational material to children without access to formal education, who cannot go to school due to the obstacles of the Israeli occupation, is particularly commendable. It’s just great to see a Palestinian organization get the recognition it deserves for such a worthy cause.