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Sat 28 May 2011 10:03 AM

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Online Arabic bookshop founder eyes US expansion

Qatar graduate says she is in the process of setting up US branch of website Araboh.com

Online Arabic bookshop founder eyes US expansion
The Araboh.com website.

An online bookshop, launched by a Qatar graduate to promote the education of the Arabic language around the world, is looking to expand to the United States.

Founder Jinanne Tabra said she was in the process of setting up a branch of Araboh.com in the US as part of international expansion plans.

The online bookstore, which has sold thousands of books around the world, has grown by 200 percent since being launched by Tabra shortly after she graduated from the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.

Araboh.com is now visiting schools in Qatar and UAE and hosting Arabic language festivals to promote the language among children.

"We have high standards for books we are selling. They must be fun and attractive," Tabra said, adding that the website now delivers books to young Arabic learners in 50 countries.

She said it was time to upgrade Arabic learning approaches among children as the current ones were "outdated" and "lacking fun elements".

Tabra, who used to find learning Arabic an "awful burden" during her school days, added: "I believe that we do need to look for more effective methods for Arabic teaching in which fun should be a key element."

She said: "I believe there is a need for the very best Arabic educational tools to be made available for every family living in non-Arab countries.

"I believe our children should feel proud to be Arabs and promote the true message of Arab peace throughout the world. I believe this has never been as important as it is today."

Born in the UK to a Scottish mother and Iraqi father, Tabra had very few resources for Arabic learning while growing up. She spent ten years in Scotland before her family moved to the Gulf region.

"During these years I was struggling to learn Arabic with other Arab children, but the books were very boring and difficult to understand. I hated Arabic so much. The text books were boring and I was a slow reader," she added.

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