Exposure to art and culture should start as early as possible to ensure children grow up knowledgeable about their local heritage and its importance and are able to take ownership of it. To address the lack of such materials in Tunisia we are publishing a series of children’s books titled “Discover Tunisia with Safir”.
Each part will focus on a different aspect of Tunisia’s rich cultural heritage beginning with the of mosaic. The books’ main character is a pigeon that goes by the name Safir and takes young readers on journeys of discovery to explore Tunisia’s culture with the help of a host of historic figures, who Safir encounters along the way. Topics will include the history of visual arts, tangible and intangible heritage etc
As part of the educational goal of Safir, the books are distributed to a number of schools in Tunisia. Teachers are trained on using Safir as an educational tool, and cultural mediators are presented with children-specific activities derived from the series in the framework of interactive museum and site visits targeting young students. In this way, this demographic is introduced to their heritage in a fun, engaging and age-appropriate way.
Safir means both ambassador and is reminiscent of the Arab verb yusafir, which means to travel. We are planning to send the bird on more adventures over the coming years to install him as a popular guide for young readers. The books will be available in three languages (Arabic, French and English)
For our first edition, we collaborated with the European Union, the Tunisian ministries of culture and education. We are currently seeking partners for subsequent titles to further the international reach of the series.
The European Union