As a child, Jinanne Tabra (TPR'07) remembers looking out her family's kitchen window in Baghdad and seeing missiles soar over Iraq during the first Gulf War. Today, the Qatar campus graduate is devoted to letting the beauty of Arab culture take flight through education. As founder and managing director of Sharjah, U.A.E.-based ARABOH.com, Tabra has developed an online resource of more than 700 titles for people living in non-Arab countries who seek fun, educational books for all ages incorporating Arabic themes.
What is the business climate like in Qatar for young, professional Arab women?
There's so much opportunity right now. Arab women in Qatar are really starting to come to the forefront in the media and take the initiative.
What makes a good Arabic-themed children's book?
One that's written by an Arabic author who can create Arabic characters and storylines with little aspects of culture that people can relate to and give them a sense of pride.
Which countries provide most of your business?
The United States. I've also been very surprised by the amount of orders from the Middle East and the Gulf, which tells me there's not enough Arabic material out there, even in the Arab world. I didn't anticipate that.
What future plans do you have for the site?
We're starting to roll out some storylines around our company mascots, Araboh and his friend, Jameela the camel. I'm hoping to expand on them with animation.
The best thing about embracing your own culture is...
Learning that you are a part of something greater than yourself. It's learning about a great past, embracing the present, and realizing that you are its future.
— Chris A. Weber