Hakeem Aitoro Creator And Founder Of Amarapara.com
Amara Para is a series of colourful and thought provoking books for children ages 4 – 7 years inspired by a real girl, her friends and family. Amara Para’s focus is on celebrating diversity and celebrating a beautiful world through fun, colour and unique and engaging imagery in order to support children’s learning about the world. These delightful storybooks are ideal for sharing with children at story time and
bedtime. Every story expresses the core messages of Amara Para which is the importance of friendship, family, appreciating difference and respecting others, celebrating diversity and the importance of learning and exploration.
Now children ages 4 – 7 can learn about global culture, languages, countries and much more from the Global Friendship collection. These books are an excellent resource for parents, teachers and educators to teach children about different countries, cultures, people and the languages they speak.
Let’s teach our children to be international citizen’s so that we may create a world with more understanding, respect and appreciation.
I wrote and produced the artwork for Amara Para as I felt there was a lack of multi-cultural material to educate and entertain my daughter. I wanted her not only to learn more about her cultural traditions but also about the wonderful world of global culture as I had done as a child. Though there are multi-cultural books available I found as other have that they just wasn’t a sufficient amount covering the topics and information to which I wanted to expose my daughter Amara. Also, I found many children’s multicultural books felt somewhat dated in their style and presentation unlike modern children’s books such as Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder, Charlie and Lola which are bright and exciting.
So I decided to create a series of stories and educational material centred around a young female character who through her friends, family and adventures learns about different cultures and places. Hence, Amara Para was born. There are now four Amara Para books with translations in Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, French and Swedish to be released in the near future.
Why Amara Para
Despite the fact that there are more multicultural books than when I was a child unfortunately there is still a huge shortage of books with
diverse characters. Mainstream publishers continue to publish books aimed at specific cultural audiences which leaves most cultural groups under-represented in mainstream children’s literature. Books which celebrate diverse characters and cultures such as Amara Para are not only beneficial for children from under represented cultural groups but for all children. Amara Para gives children and parents alike the opportunity to;
Learn about different cultures and languages fostering culture awareness and understanding
Teaches tolerance by celebrating difference
Tackles and challenges ignorance and prejudice about other groups
Communicate successfully with people from different backgrounds
Build relationships easier with people from different backgrounds
Develop a far more flexible and global approach to life and destroy prejudice and ignorance
Find it easier to adapt and adjust to foreign environments or places
Includes all children boosting self esteem and confidence as they see people who look like them positively
Help children to grow into open minded and global citizens
Great tool for parents, teachers and elders to teach children about the world and diversity
In the coming months the Amara Para team will be working diligently to make this website an excellent and interesting hub for celebrating
diversity and culture. There will be a wonderful array of resources from video to games for children and adults alike to learn more about diversity and global culture. We want as many children, parents and educators to join us in our celebration of diversity and a beautiful world.
About the author
Hakeem Aitoro is an author, illustrator and consultant both in the area of inter-cultural relations and creative industries. He describes himself as a serial creative who expresses his creativity and ideas about life and global culture through various mediums from art, storytelling, music, poetry and photography. Hakeem Aitoro describes his artistic style in Amara Para as ‘Filial Pulchritude’ the celebration of childish beauty, an idea akin to Zen notions of beauty. Hakeem Aitoro draws on his knowledge of global cultures and belief systems to create a philosophy which underpins much of his work and artistic expression which not only arouses interest or appreciation but educates and provokes thoughts. The author has strong beliefs about the importance of global awareness and expresses the necessity of cultural intelligence, that is having an open minded and accommodating attitude of cultural difference. As he states ‘culturally literacy in a multi-cultural world which is rapidly becoming smaller due to globalisation becomes a more valuable commodity daily’. His work through Amara Para is not only a parent’s celebration of diversity but an opportunity to give children cultural tools that will be invaluable for their success tomorrow.
Hakeem Aitoro also offers advice and guidance to aspiring authors relating to self publishing, writing and Kindle publishing. He has helped a number of authors to self publish their material.