Books for Pakistan

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Girls in Pakistan reading Hoopoe books

‘When I spoke to the coordinators in Muzaffargarh they told me that the children were completely caught up by the beautiful illustrations and the power of the stories! One child commented:

“I thought I would only find books of this sort in the homes my mother works in! Imagine finding them in my own school.
How blessed I am!”

From our partner in Pakistan,
Mrs. Basarat Kazim Founder and President of
Alif Laila Book Bus Society

Books for Pakistan provides bilingual English and Urdu editions of Idries Shah’s retelling of Hoopoe Books traditional tales from the region. The editions for Pakistan enable children to read the Urdu translation and the English on the facing page.

To date we have five titles: The Farmer’s Wife, The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water, The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal, The Old Woman and the Eagle and The Boy Without a Name.

The Farmer's Wife    The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water in Urdu    The Clever Boy and the Terrible Dangerous Animal    The Boy Without a Name    The Old Woman and the Eagle

NEWS UPDATE! November 2013

This year we prepared five more Hoopoe titles. They are now press-ready in English-Urdu editions: The Silly Chicken, Neem the Half-Boy, Fatima The Spinner and the Tent and The Magic Horse all by Idries Shah and translated by Hafeez Diwan. We will print and distribute these just as soon as we have the funds to do so.

We are now in our second year of partnership with the Alif Laila Book Bus Society.

Established in 1978, Alif Laila was one of the first groups in Pakistan to focus primarily on empowerment of civil society and social reform, mainly through education. It has served over one million disadvantaged children through its schools and mobile libraries, and is working with us to distribute Hoopoe Books to these children throughout Pakistan.

Kids in Pakistan reading hoopoe books

Alif Laila uses girls’ education to fight poverty and gender inequality, believing that “by educating girls, we are not only eradicating the secondary place of women in our society, and bringing them up to par with men, but also ensuring the advancement and modernization of our total society. An educated mother has it in her power to change the very culture of the most basic social unit – the family.”

We continue to collaborate with DIL (Developments in Literacy) to donate these beautiful children's books to the children they serve. DIL runs 150 schools serving approximately 15,000 children, especially girls, in underdeveloped regions in Pakistan.

Since the start of our program in Pakistan we have delivered 25,000 Hoopoe Books to the children and we hope, with your help, to do very much more.


Our first challenge in 2014 is to help schools, which have contacted us from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province for a program that follows the model of our Books for Afghanistan Program. Six organizations have approached us with requests for Hoopoe books and teacher training, with particular emphasis on educating women and girls. 

As you know, through the amazing presence and work of courageous Malala Yousafzai, this area presents an enormous challenge for the future of Pakistan.

Only through education will things begin to change! Please DONATE NOW to help us provide 200,000 children in the KPK with these wonderful stories. Thank you!

Pakistani girl reading The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal

Some comments from the first batch of students at DIL Paradise School, Orangi Town.

The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal:

Afreen Mushtaque (age 7):
“I read the story book called The Clever boy and the Terrible, Dangerous animal. It is a very interesting story and the funny part of this story is that the villagers were very cowardly, they were scared of watermelons.”

Noureen Ayoub (age 6) and Atif Rasheed (age 6):
“This story gives us the lesson that we should not be afraid of anything. We should be like the brave boy.”

Mehak (age 6):
“This story introduced the interesting sides of the human characters in an amazing way.”

4 Pakistani kids reading Hoopoe books

Pakistani boy reading The Old Woman and the Eagle
The Old Woman and the Eagle:

Komal Saeed (age 6):
“We like this story because we learn from it that we must have knowledge so that no one can fool us.”

Ramzan (age 6), Asma Rasheed (age 4) and Kiran Asif (age 5):
“We enjoyed this funny story and learnt the lesson that we should have knowledge about everything, also we should not catch the birds, we should free them. We want to read more story books like this one.”

2 images of Pakistani girls reading Hoopoe books

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Hoopoe books help children develop an understanding
of themselves and the world around them.

From thinking children come thinking adults.

©2014 Hoopoe Books