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By: Salwa Samir

Malika is a four-year-old girl who wears glasses. She is annoyed that none of her friends wears such a frustrating thing on their tiny face.
One day, her mother told her a bedtime story that was especially written for her entitled “Malika and the Eyeglasses”.


The story tells her that the spectacles are her friend because they help her to see the world more clearly.  When she sleeps, the glasses long for her to wake up and wear them again. The story makes Malika realise that her glasses are a true friend and this makes her happy and she begins treating them with care.  


The story was written by Mai Abdel-Hadi, who has launched an initiative called (Hadouta Bi Esmo) “Story in his Name”.


“Children hate being given direct instructions and advice. We need to offer them this advice in an imaginative way. So, my bedtime stories correct a child’s behaviour, by telling him/her a tale using their name and dealing with the issues of which his/her parents complain,” Abdel-Hadi told the Egyptian Mail.
 “The stories are an indirect and attractive way to teach them good values,” she added.


Abdel-Hadi graduated from Faculty of Mass Communication, the Radio and Television Section, Cairo University. She was fond of everything to do with children.
She is the mother of two boys aged seven and four.   All her stories are told in rhyming verse, in colloquial Egyptian Arabic and most of them have sound effects.


Abdel-Hadi has formed groups on WhatsApp through which her recorded stories are available for other mothers to use for their kids.
“When I compose a story, I focus on real situations and add a touch of imagination to attract the children,” she said.


She added that any woman can download the stories on her mobile phone and play them to her child at bedtime.  


Abdel-Hadi said that the idea of composing stories for children came to her when she met a mother who was sad at the change that came over her son Ali, after he fell from the third floor and injured his leg. He became upset and depressed.

 
"I composed a story for him about a Prince called Ali who fell from his horse and injured his leg. The story tells how he accepted his fate, regained his confidence and waited for his leg to heal, over time. After hearing the story, Ali’s psychological condition improved,” she said.


Abdel-Hadi’s stories have spread quickly and mothers keep calling her and asking her to record more stories for their children.  She has complied and has even increased her audience by translating the stories into English and French.


Abdel-Hadi now has more than 20 groups on WhatsApp with 7,000 members of different nationalities.
“I now have followers from Sweden, Latin America and the UK,” she said, proudly.


She has also collected the stories into one book entitled “Once Upon a Time”.  The first and second printed editions sold like hot cakes during the Cairo International Book Fair last January.


Two years ago, Abdel-Hadi wrote a book called “How Can I Answer this” (Arod Aqol Eih?). It is based on a dialogue between her and her son, Youssef.  She tries to answer his questions which are like those asked by every child his age, about the unseen and sex.  


“A child behaviour specialist helped me answer the questions in a simple, convincing way,” the 35-year-old mother said.


“It is a guidebook mothers can use to deal with these predictable situations,” she added with a smile.



CAIRO, June 3, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian embassy in Belgrade hosted Sunday a ceremony honoring the two Serbian schools participating in the "Egypt in the eyes of children of the world" competition held last year.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Egypt's Ambassador to Serbia Amr Al Jowaily had handed over awards to 17 competitors from the Miutinovi and Mladost schools, who won five gold medals, three silver medals and nine certificates of appreciation from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, as well as souvenirs for teachers and supervisors accompanying the winners.

The ambassador congratulated the winners, praising their work which reflected their vision of Egypt's history and civilization, pointing out that they have a vision for the future of Egyptian-Serbian relations, which add to the efforts of the embassy in documenting the history of relations between the two countries.

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Roaming packs of feral dogs have killed six children in the last week in north India, terrifying villagers who have begun keeping their children home from school and killing any dogs they encounter. At least two dozen more children have been injured.

The killings have occurred in and around the town of Sitapur, said senior police officer Anand Kulkarni. Many of the attacks occurred when children were out gathering mangoes or when they left their homes to use outhouse toilets, he said. Many homes in the area lack indoor plumbing.

Twelve children between the ages 5 and 12 have been killed in dog attacks in the area since November, officials say.

It was not clear how many dogs were involved in the attacks, but India has millions of strays that wander the streets in even the most exclusive neighbourhoods. The feral dogs often survive on leftover food set in alleys for them, but also face relentless cruelty by people, and regularly fight other dogs over territory. While injuries from dog attacks are fairly common, a string of fatalities in one area is rare.

Some in the area believe the attacks began after a nearby illegal slaughterhouse was closed, making the dogs more aggressive after they were left without a major source of food.

Villagers say the dog packs are terrifying.

By Amina Abdul Salam

Many mothers complain of delayed walking in their kids and do not know the reasons for this problem. Dr Abeer Ezzat, Paediatrician, Ain Shams University, says that a child starts walking naturally between ten months of age and one and half years wille few of them walk at the age of nine months.

There are those, also, who delay walking for two years. But if the child exceeds the age of two years and has not made any attempt to walk, this may be due to a problem which should be dealt with.

“Walking is one of the self-motor skills that is discovered by the child without any assistance or learning,” Dr Ezzat tells every mother. Some children, however, may start walking with the help of their parents, who fear that they may fall down and some walk without any assistance at all.

Dr Ezzat attributes some cases of delayed walking in children to genetic causes.Perhaps the mother or father had had the same problem during childhood. Another possible cause, she says, is lack of vitamin D. This leads to shortage of calcium in the bones, rickets and delayed walking. So she urges mothers to expose their children to the sun’s rays daily.

Malnutrition, she says, also leads to motor delay. And so do some diseases, such as cerebral palsy and meningitis.

She says that the treatment for delayed walking depends on the individual case and the diagnosis of the paediatrician .

If the delayed walking is due to a certain disease, then the disease must be cured in order to solve the problem. It can also sometimes be cured by physical therapy.

 

LONDON, April 22, 2018 (AP) — Britain's health secretary says the government will introduce new laws targeting online social media companies if they don't do more to protect children.

In a strongly-worded letter to Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Twitter and others, Jeremy Hunt said their failure to prevent young children using social media and exposing children to its "harmful emotional side effects" was "unacceptable and irresponsible."

Hunt said on Sunday he was particularly concerned about the lack of age verification measures, with thousands breaching minimum user age rules.

He gave the companies a week to set out steps they are taking to cut underage use, prevent cyberbullying, and promote limited screen time.

Hunt last year attacked Facebook for releasing a version aimed at children, telling the company to "stay away from my kids."

Lazy eye in children

By Amina Abdul Salam

Cairo, April 18, 2018 - One of the problems many children suffer from is “lazy eye”. When the condition is not diagnosed early and reaches the advanced stages, it cannot be cured. According to Dr Hatem Tawfik, Professor of Ophthalmology, visual ability develops in children constantly during the first months of their lives.

The eye is the receiver, while the brain is a system for analysing the visual information coming from the eye, then the eye gives a full image to the brain. So, weakness of the eye as a receiver leads to weakness of the related part in the brain.

Dr Tawfik said that the symptoms of lazy eye are apparent when the direction of the eyes when looking at objects is not the same: one eye may look to the inside or the outside, away from the centre.

“The treatment of lazy eye is based on the child using his or her lazy eye only, by covering the sound eye, for a length of time set by the ophthalmologist, according to the degree of laziness and the child’s age,” Dr Tawfik said. He added that it was important to wear eyeglasses to correct refractive defects or asymmetric focus of the eyes.

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