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Literacy Narrative 3, Alqahtani’s

As a child, reading and memorizing Quran (the Islamic Holy Book) was the only book that I used to read and memorize on an almost-daily basis. Despite the encouragement and rewards given to me by teachers and my parents, I never considered reading and writing an enjoyable experience. However, comics growing up and Twitter as an adolescent changed the way I think about what to do for fun, significantly affecting where my free time is spent. Without them, I would have never been who I am today, and to which I dedicate this narrative.

  Someday as a third-grader, I went to the school’s field during a break, only to see that a mini-library was brought from Egypt (a country whose dialect is typically used for all Disney Arabic-dubbed movies and comics). I decided to get an Uncle Scrooge comic book for no apparent reason. Little did I know that this would turn into an addiction that would go on for over a decade. At the time, apart from TV movies and animations, my PlayStation 3 was my way to escape from reality. I used to spend hours that I remember having a headache once from playing too much of Modern Warfare 2 (a shooter game that most Saudi gamers have played). Unfortunately for me, consoles were not allowed on weekdays, so I had to play with my neighbors or do schoolwork in my free time. Nevertheless, Uncle Scrooge started a new chapter with me, making me look forward to coming back home so that I could read. The way in which comics affected me is hard to describe. It improved my willingness to read and enjoy every sense of reading that staying late at night is not to play videogames but to read. Reading, once feared and boring, became an enjoyable habit.

 In addition, my older brother was a significant influence growing up. My brother has had a successful career in blogging about soccer, widely known within Al-Hilal and Inter Milan Saudi fanbase when it comes to writing. Due to his popularity and influence, I became much more involved in soccer. At the time, I opened a Twitter account, dedicating it to writing about soccer solely to impress him. And to seem just like him, I acted and wrote like an adult. I did not expect much besides having a few followers when I started. Fortunately for me, my account grew more and more to be followed by hundreds, reaching a thousand followers within a year. Having this amount of followers was unusual in 2013 when bots were not as prominent as today. My brother, unfortunately, did not want me to be involved as he is, given the “uselessness” of being a sports junkie. I was not discouraged; I was encouraged when I saw that older fans were following me, and I kept tweeting regardless. Due to Twitter, tweeting became a habit, eventually falling in love with writing. Since Arabic Twitter is luckily not as informal as American/English Twitter, tweeting helped me formulate arguments and write well as a sixth-grader. Writing, following this, became a flow that cannot be quickly interrupted, all thanks to Twitter.

 In conclusion, reading and writing have always been dreadful to me, especially when I was addicted to video games. However, comics and Twitter are what made me who I am when it comes to my literacy. They changed how I interact, they changed how I read, and they changed how I write. Without comics, mainly Uncle Scrooge’s, and Twitter, I would have never been who I am today.

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