The importance of reading for fun

Dr. Rana Dajani

Rana Dajani noticed that many children weren’t reading for fun – an activity that not only creates lifelong learners, but can also shift a child’s mindset from “I cannot” to “I can.” As she says: “I felt it was a crime for a child not to be able to discover their inner potential and discover the world.” This was the impetus for launching We Love Reading, a project whose strategic approach is rooted in inherent motivation rather than external stimuli – a key distinction when it comes to creating and driving social change for a sustainable future. Dajani shows how, by becoming a We Love Reading ambassador, people embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. She shares the stories of Asma, a young Syrian refugee living in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp; Maria, a retired teacher from Argentina; Nabila, a cancer survivor from eastern Amman; Abdullah, an individual with special needs; and Matovu, a young person from Uganda – all of whom are now making an impact in their communities.

About the Speaker

Dr. Rana Dajani
Scientist + Professor

Dr. Rana Dajani holds a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from the University of Iowa. She is currently a professor at Hashemite University, Jordan. She is also a former visiting professor at the Yale Stem Cell Center. Her current research focuses on epigenetics of trauma across generations.

Dr. Dajani was a consultant to the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Jordan. She was one of the 20 most influential scientists in the Islamic World in 2014 and one of the 100 most powerful Arab women in 2014. Dr. Dajani established the “We Love Reading” (WLR) program to encourage children to read for pleasure. Dr. Dajani won the prestigious UNESCO International Literacy Prize in 2017 and the UNHCR Nansen Award in 2020.