Queen Rania Foundation

Arabic and the Science of Reading


On June 29, 2021, the World Bank’s report on Advancing Arabic Language Teaching and Learning: A Path to Reducing Learning Poverty in MENA was launched at an event hosted by the Queen Rania Foundation. The report identifies and explores the factors related to high learning poverty rates across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in which more than half of children cannot read and understand an age-appropriate text by age 10. The report also proposes a path to assist MENA countries in their efforts to reduce learning poverty.

In the first of a series of conversations on advancing Arabic language teaching and learning to reduce learning poverty in MENA, the science of learning to read in Arabic, and aspects of the Arabic language that need to be considered in education policy and practice, will be explored.


  • Prof. Hanada Taha Thomure, Endowed Professor of Arabic Language, Zayed University
  • Prof. Zeinab Ibrahim, Teaching Professor of  Arabic Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar, and a sociolinguist of Arabic
  • Prof. Haitham Taha, Western Galilee College & Sakhnin College for Teachers’ Education
  • Michael F. Crawford, Lead Education Specialist, World Bank