Hollywood artist tutors Arabic-speaking kids during pandemic

 197 total views,  1 views today

by Jocelyne Zablit

It was during a phone conversation with her sister back in Qatar that the idea clicked for Hollywood animation artist Reem Ali Adeeb.

Like other regions across the world, young children in the Middle East were confined at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was not nearly enough original content online in Arabic to keep them entertained, such as fun tutorials and other activities.

So Ali Adeeb, a Syrian-born animation artist who works at Warner Bros. Entertainment in Los Angeles, and her sister Sandi, a university lecturer of pharmaceutics in Qatar, decided to take matters into their own hands.

The pair set up “Susupreemo,” a YouTube channel designed to help Arabic-speaking kids — and their stressed-out parents — weather the coronavirus lockdowns through basic tutorials on drawing, making origami or simply reading children’s books, all in Arabic.

“The idea is to create videos to engage the kids,” said Ali Adeeb, who at Warner Bros. has worked on children’s shows including “Green Eggs and Ham,” a Netflix animated series based on the Dr. Seuss classic.

“There’s tons of content on the web in English for kids but there is not enough original content in Arabic,” added the 34-year-old who is now working from home on the second season of the Netflix show. “So the aim is to make their screen time interactive and inspiring by drawing with them, reading them a story or doing crafts.”

Ali Adeeb said her sister’s 7-year-old son Omar has even joined in the fun, offering origami tutorials to his peers.

“He’s been the best. He’s done the most among us with three videos recorded already,” she said.

Ali Adeeb herself is using some of the characters from “Green Eggs and Ham,” notably Chickeraffe, a chicken/giraffe hybrid, to draw young viewers into her world.

Sandi for her part keeps her young audience focused and allows their imagination to travel by reading them children’s books.

“I thought I would read for kids during a time where buying or lending a book is very challenging, especially for some disadvantaged kids in some Arab countries,” she told AFP in an email.

“I started with a book suitable for children aged 3 to 6 years old and now I am selecting more books that can engage the kids for longer periods,” she added. (AFP)

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share