Tamer institute for Community Education is a non-profit organization based in Ramallah that promotes reading among children and young people in the West Bank and Gaza. It was founded 1989, during the First Intifada, to give children access to books and alternative learning at a time when both their schooling and leisure time suffered from the political situation.
Today the institute is a hub in a network that offers writing workshops, storytelling, and theater. Every year the group organizes a national reading campaign, offering workshops to thousands of children in refugee camps, villages, and communities. During the campaign there is a writing competition for children 8-15 years old; Tamer Institute publishes the winners of the competition in a book series called My First Book.
When Tamer institute was founded there were few Palestinian children’s books. Today the organization has its own publishing unit, and has published over 130 titles. These books have been distributed to libraries and culture centers all over Palestine. The publishing unit is crucial as there are difficulties importing children’s books from other Arabic countries. Through all their projects, from writing workshops and storytelling to publishing, the institute has made way for a new generation of Palestinian writers.
Tamer institute also sponsors the production of a youth newspaper, Yara’at, where young people can publish their own stories, poems, and pictures. The organization also hosts a project aimed at teaching young people about the geography and history of Palestine through story- and song-collecting and oral history.