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QF RDI SUPPORTS PROJECT AIMED AT EDUCATING CHILDREN ON QATAR’S CULTURE AND HERITAGE THROUGH 3D ANIMATION

Qatari entrepreneur Nada Al-Musleh receives Innovation Coupon grant for her edutainment startup

Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI) has awarded its prestigious Innovation Coupon grant to a unique Qatar-based edutainment project aimed at introducing children both in the country and internationally, to the history and traditions of Qatar, and those of the Arab world.

Dew Land Productions is the brainchild of entrepreneur Nada Al-Musleh, the company’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. The grant will enable Al-Musleh to expand Dew Land Productions, which aims to both educate and entertain children aged 7 to 10 using stories about various topics which emphasize Qatar’s identity, heritage, and culture, as well as the Arab world’s values, morals, and principles, all communicated via 3D Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) animations. 

It was the first episode which initially caught QF RDI’s attention. The 10-minute-long film, Oh Yamal, features Dew Land’s marque characters Joud wa Soud®, and highlights pearl diving as one of the most important enterprises in Qatar’s history – something young children today may know little about. Although originally created in Arabic, an English dialogue version of the episode has also been produced to introduce the topic to non-Arabic speaking children both locally and abroad. 

Oh Yamal is an important milestone for our startup, as we consider it a pilot that is helping us to produce a series of upcoming episodes on diverse topics that we believe need attention and must be highlighted in children’s media. Although pearl diving is no longer a thriving industry in Qatar, it was important for our ancestors and one of the primary sources of income before the discovery of oil. Oh Yamal helps to instill this heritage in the hearts of children, as this part of our history deserves to remain alive for generations to come,” explained Al-Musleh.

Al-Musleh also believes her company will help to address a gap in the market which will be beneficial for the country moving forward. She said: “Our research findings show that many Qatari children are not aware of the meanings of simple, yet important aspects of our heritage they should be aware and proud of.  This demonstrates the need for creative content other than school textbooks to help children visualize certain concepts and practices. The interviews and surveys we’ve conducted with educators, parents and educational experts have confirmed this clear gap in the market. We are utilizing our characters to highlight any topic in a fun way that engages children and widens their perceptions.”

Expressing her gratitude for the Innovation Coupon, Al-Musleh commented: “It’s a great program to help local talent and young Qatari entrepreneurs. The financial support motivates entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas, develop a prototype and test it in the market. The Innovation Coupon is highly beneficial as it provides not just funding, but also guidance, mentorship, and encouragement from experts within the QF RDI team. The team helped me to focus on my value proposition and allowed me to get a better understanding of how to progress with my project.”

As an Innovation Coupon recipient, Dew Land benefits from being connected with other entities that are part of the QF RDI ecosystem. Just recently, the startup produced a short film for Qatar Genome Programme – part of QF RDI – highlighting that the ecosystem is built to support early-stage startups and Qatari entrepreneurs.  

QF RDI’s Innovation Coupon is aimed at individual Qatari entrepreneurs or Qatar-based early-stage startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across all sectors and industries that are engaged in the development of new technology-based products and services. Along with grant funding, the coupon is designed to provide the technical backing required to prototype their ideas and become market ready. Since its launch in 2019, the fund has supported 24 Qatar-based projects.

Al-Musleh envisions Dew Land becoming a globally recognized children’s brand and growing as a unique Qatari trademark. “Our goal is to create an online series of edutainment episodes with high quality and meaningful content that is tailored to children in our region. Our bilingual platform will include English dialogue versions of the content we produce too, to benefit both Arabic and non-Arabic speaking children across the world. The subjects we will cover can be used as a tool to create an interactive atmosphere either in classrooms or at home. We believe that they will broaden children’s imagination, inspire them, encourage discussions, and promote active learning.”

Indicating that Dew Land Productions is, in its own way, contributing to the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV) objectives, Al-Musleh added: “Our product is helping to consolidate the values of Qatari society and preserve our heritage. We also serve the children’s edutainment sector, which can be diversified in various ways to generate multiple revenue streams and become a sustainable business. We aim to enrich the Arts & Entertainment industry and participate in the economic development pillar of QNV. We also plan to aid the development of an environmentally-aware population by creating child-friendly content related to the importance of taking care of our environment – and the consequences if we do not.”

Offering advice and encouragement to other Qatari entrepreneurs, Al-Musleh said that they should surround themselves with like-minded people and “seek advice from experts in the field and those who believe in you. It’s a long journey with challenges throughout the way, but your dedication and passion will always get you there. Dream big and never give up!”
For more information about Innovation Coupon, please visit www.qf.org.qa/innovation-coupon or send an email to [email protected]

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