Though it comes with a name most Egyptian kids will have trouble pronouncing – unless they went to the posh schools (you know who you are) – Kaleidoscope is one of Egypt’s few publications targeted at children with content that varies from short stories to health advice and recipes.
“Kids in Egypt do not have a lot in terms of content and creativity, especially from Egyptians themselves. I studied writing and I saw a lot of talent that could provide content for Egyptian children,” said Dina El-Abd, managing director and founder of Kaleidoscope.
In addition to tutoring kids, El-Abd’s mother owns a nursery which she says helped her deal with children, “from my experience, I know how to deal with kids and I know how smart kids can be and what they can do.”
El-Abd has been working on a short story series that is featured prominently in the new magazine, “I was working on a short story series called Farah and Fares about two Egyptian siblings. I wanted to create local Egyptian heroes for kids,” she said.
The original goal for the magazine was to target 8-12 year olds. Instead, Kaleidoscope found itself dealing with a 6-14 age group and they say the content was a challenge.
“We discovered that our audience’s age range was different from what we had anticipated and that we also dealt with different people such as librarians, school principals, teachers, students, etc. It is important for me to support education and so we have begun distributing it in schools such as Choueifat and the Cairo American College,” said El-Abd.
Some of the content can come from the kids themselves, “we have had content from our readers as in the case of some sending in their own poetry or writing,” she said.
El-Abd says reception for the magazine has been very positive, “people are always supportive and parents especially always offer to help. Even though the idea gets support, the magazine itself, and the content, speak for themselves and this is our main strength.”
Kaleidoscope focuses on three goals; education, creativity and interactivity. “We try to find content that fits that vision,” said Farah Shurrab, assistant managing director of Kaleidoscope.
“We have a creative story section, a try-it section with recipes or fashion and things to try at home, the Previously on Earth section has articles on topics that we pick as part of the education goal,” Shurrab added.
The magazine is currently launching its fourth issue and costs EGP15. If you subscribe you can get free coupons to things like children’s work art shops and places like Nola’s and Auntie Anne’s. The magazine can be found in select schools, popular bookshops such as Volume One, Al Kotob Khan and Diwan, as well as small shops around Cairo and Alexandria.