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Written by Rula

The library was torture.

An unhappy and seemingly bored librarian would half welcome us to find a seat in that dimly lit library.  I was in 6th grade in a far-away land and that dreadful weekly visit to the school library was a half-hour of absolute silence reading books the librarian chose for us.  Torture.

Growing up I despised the library.  I always felt lost among all the big aisles of numbered books.  I did not understand why books were numbered much less know how to find a book I wanted.  That grumpy old librarian spent her time chit-chatting with our teacher while we were glued to our seats.  The only thing I learned how to do was hate libraries.

My name is Rula, also known as Rula Of Arabia.  I am a 24/7 mother of 2 precious little people and a wife of a very patient, wonderful man. I love being a mom and can’t imagine myself doing anything else right now.  I was born to be a mom.

I come from a culture that admires the West for their love of reading.  “Look at that Westerner, they always have a book in their hand.  They read all the time, every day, even while sunbathing on a beach!”  It was after I moved to America that I realized the irony of all this, however.  That is, in my country reading a book is pretty low on the priority list, nevermind reading to a baby!

When my oldest child was born I vowed to avert this cultural nuance.  She was only a couple weeks old when we started reading to her.  “She’s listening!” I would say.  And although I was regularly met with, “She’s too young for books.  What would she understand anyways?” I was older and wiser than that lost kid in 6th grade.  I’ve stayed the course because I know now that reading is power.

With my children one of the best parts of our days is the time we spend reading good books together.  We visit the library weekly where we fill our 3 big totes full of books!  For me the library is like a high-end boutique where everything is on 90% off.  With 2 toddlers it’s an ordeal to get to the library, get through the library and get out of the library…but it’s worth the hassle when they beg to “Read it again!  Read it again!”

Here at kidHaven, I will begin sharing our favorite children’s book with you every month.  This months picks are:


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  1. Rhonda Roumani #

    Dear Rula,
    I loved your post. I am moving to new haven this week- I have two kids, a 3 1/2 year old girl and a six month old boy. I just love children’s books– and obviously love introducing my daughter to new books- and would love to hear more about your favorites. I’m not sure if you’re going to continue blogging about this—seems like this website is changing somehow-but I hope you do!
    We also seem to have a similar background- I am Syrian-American. I loved your commentary on wanting to embrace reading to your kids despite our cultural tendency not to do that. :) do you do the same in Arabic? I have been trying, but my daughter often prefers our English language books
    Hope to read more from you and maybe even meet you soon!

    August 13, 2013
  2. Rula #

    Dear Rhonda,

    It was a pleasure to have met you and had the chance to talk in person.

    I am looking forward to many more encounters and to discuss the ideas we talked about in more details. I’d be excited to work on projects that would help and encourage our little ones to love to read books in Arabic. That would be a dream come true!

    Until we meet again.

    September 9, 2013

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