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Moe Chreif

Majallet Onboz: A promising magazine for children

Majallet Onboz's first issue is about flight [Dar Onboz]

Date of publication: 22 June, 2015

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Culture: Majallet Onboz is a multidisciplinary Arabic-language magazine for children recently launched at the National Museum in Beirut, Lebanon.
Dar Onboz, an independent Lebanese publishing house co-founded by Nadine Touma and Sivine Ariss, has launched a magazine aimed at children.

"Each issue has one theme, addressed through science, games, stories, comics, architecture, archaeology, Arabic calligraphy, cinematography, art, history, folktales, info graphics, paper sculptures and more," Majallet Onboz (Onboz Magazine) describes itself on its website.

Although Majallet Onboz is a children's magazine, it is for everyone, "from when one knows how to read till they can't read anymore", according to writer and artist, Nadine Touma.

The theme of the first issue is flight and the magazine is complemented by audio-visual material and a website with an interactive sharing platform.

The videos and recordings are accessible on all browsers and an interactive digital edition will soon be available on iTunes.

On the website, you can find a video of the world's first flying car and another showing fireworks filmed by a drone.

You can also find an audio recording of Habbit el-Remmen, a folktale, written by Touma, accompanied by music composed by Ariss.
You will rediscover that Arabic can speak to our aspirations and dreams.

- Majallet Onboz statement


"The team of experts we have is superb and has done a stunning job in making the content accessible, fun and intelligent," said Touma.

She added that, although there are a few other children's magazines published in Lebanon, Majallet Onboz is "different in its content, visual style, pedagogical approach, philosophy, and design".

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The print edition of the magazine will be distributed in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan.

"It's a journey that you can read over time and days, revisiting, and relishing coming back to," Touma said.

Habbit el-Remmen
was turned into a performance at the National Museum among the ancient artefacts on display. Touma's passionate performance, delivered in the manner of the traditional Hakawati storytellers, and Ariss' live music mesmerised the children attending in a video broadcasted by LBC, a Lebanese local and satellite channel.

Farida (Unique), the main character in the magazine, is nine years old and loves exploring and asking questions. Her mother is a seamstress, her dad a woodworker. For the creators, she represents "a memory most of the new generation doesn't have". Farida will feature in every issue.

In its press release, Majallet Onboz makes a noble promise: "You will encounter art and weave it in with science, fly to the moon and back, and rediscover that Arabic can speak to our aspirations and dreams."

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