“These Teaching-Stories can be experienced on many levels. A child may simply enjoy hearing them; an adult may analyze them in a more sophisticated way. Both may eventually benefit from the lessons within.” —Lynn Neary All Things Considered, NPR News, Washington
Tahir Shah, author, journalist and documentary filmmaker, is the son of Idries Shah, the author of Hoopoe’s traditional Teaching-Stories. In this video Repatriating Afghan Stories to Afghan Children Tahir discusses repatriating these literary treasures for Afghan children and their future.
We provide traditional Teaching-Stories from Afghanistan and the surrounding region collected and retold especially for early readers by the author and educator Idries Shah and the teacher and storyteller Palwasha Bazger Salam. There are now twelve beautifully illustrated books in this series for Afghanistan, available in a bilingual edition of their two main languages Dari and Pashto; and in English.
Typical of many traditional tales from the region, Hoopoe stories have no one moral, no one right answer, but instead were designed to encourage critical and analogical thought. Each tale helps children develop flexible, inventive minds that prepare them to meet the challenges of life; particularly to withstand the pressures of extremism, sadly so prevalent in today’s Afghanistan.
“One of the most acute problems facing schools and teachers is the lack of reading materials both in the classroom and in school libraries. Hoopoe’s storybooks can be used as an effective means to increase early literacy and promote a reading culture. Additionally, engaging school students in the activities as described in Hoopoe’s teacher guides is an effective way to improve and motivate their reading, writing skills and thinking skills.” —Melody Zavala, Director Books for Asia, The Asia Foundation.
Hoopoe’s traditional stories form a bridge between the more conservative elders, who remember them, and members of the younger generation, who so badly need to become literate in order to participate fully in a modern Afghanistan.