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Our Story

Our story begins in the way many journeys end—with a homecoming. When Dr. Rana Dajani, founder of We Love Reading, returned to Jordan after five years abroad, she saw her home country with new eyes. During her time abroad, Rana worked extensively with a public library, and grew accustomed to reading with her children. However, she realized that not only were there very few libraries in Jordan, but also that children in Jordan didn’t typically read for pleasure. They read for education and religion purposes, but there was not a strong culture of reading for joy or entertainment. This lack of love for reading extended across the Arab world and developing countries.

As a scientist, she was curious to understand why and to change this aspect of her society. Through her own research, Rana discovered what children did not read for pleasure because they didn’t have a love of reading.  Drawing on her research and experience as a mother, Rana recognized that parents could foster a love of reading by reading aloud to their children starting at a young age. 

Training a generation of parents to read aloud is a daunting task. However, from a young age, Rana believed her responsibility to serve extended beyond her own family and to her entire community. Driven by the importance of sharing her knowledge, Rana felt called to take action. 

Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Inspired by this spirit and her upbringing in a culture of literacy, Rana sought to be the change in her corner of the world. She began to work towards the development of a library in every neighborhood, starting with her own. Along with her family, she looked for a space where she might read aloud to local children. She wanted somewhere safe and appropriate for families, and a space in every neighborhood, and as she looked around, realized – why not use the mosque?

Rana’s husband spoke to the Imam and explained to him that she was going to read aloud to the children. During the Friday prayer, they announced that a read-aloud session would be held at the mosque the following morning for children ages 4 to 10 years old. She brought a selection of books and a number of costumes and puppets. At the end of the storytelling session, she distributed the books amongst the children in attendance, and instructed the children to read or be read to every night until the next storytelling session. 
The storytelling sessions proved to be wildly successful. At first, the children came because their parents forced them to. After listening to Rana read the stories in an animated way, they fell in love with reading. On Saturday mornings, the children insisted on going to the mosque for the storytelling session, now bringing their parents with them. Beginning with these simple sessions, We Love Reading transformed from an idea to a grassroots program.
Since 2006, We Love Reading has expanded to over 35 countries around the world, founding 2000+ libraries in a diverse range of communities—rural and urban, as well as refugee camps. Its model remains focused on creating change at a local level, by empowering people to be change-makers in their own communities. WLR believes that the best solutions are developed within one’s own country or culture.  A solution in one culture may not necessarily succeed in another. More importantly, it is essential that the people served have agency and ownership over these solutions, to amplify their voices and strengthen their ability to serve as change makers. Such attitudes and approaches can build a community and a nation.
Today, We Love Reading is more than an organization: it is a social movement, one that operates without making much noise, or seeking confrontation. We Love Reading aims to bring about long term cultural change through reading and skill development. Our programs create capabilities in hundreds of local women, enabling them to act creatively for themselves and their communities. While organizations need hierarchies, movements call for causes, shared values, and common goals to unite and empower people. WLR uses reading to inspire children to realize they can and should think independently. We believe we need only to discover our inner potential to create a change, however small, within our communities. In our movement, the potential for change is ever present and its impacts consequences are felt in the moment and for generations to come.


Launch of WLR Initiative


WLR Awarded 2009-2010 Synergos Arab World Social Innovators Award

Launch of WLR training workshops


Taghyeer Organization officially registered as an NGO with the Ministry of Culture. Taghyeer becomes the official umbrella of WLR.

WLR receives honorary invitation to join the Clinton Global Initiative, pledges to open 100 more libraries by 2015.


WLR libraries begin to open worldwide, starting in Azerbaijan, Thailand, and Tunisia


WLR begins to collaborate with author Karen Asfour to develop its first children’s books. 

WLR opens in Germany, Greece, and UAE.


WLR has established over 400 libraries

WLR opens in Uganda and the United States.

First edition WLR stories printed.


WLR signs with LitWorld International to begin working in Za’atari refugee camp

WLR opens in Gaza.

WLR founder Dr. Rana Dajani receives the King Hussein Medal of Honor for her work with WLR. 

WLR launches “Empower Her” project. 


WLR has established over 600 libraries. 

WLR opens libraries in the UK

WLR begins working in Azraq Camp. 


WLR launches “Be You” and “A Story of a Picture” projects


Launch of WLR Mobile application


We Love Reading Wins Klaus J. Jacobs Award for Social Engagement and Innovation Award