"Children's literature" in general, and the story in particular, plays the role of the impregnable fortress against successive attacks led by satellite channels intended for children, as those channels intentionally and unintentionally act as the carrier who is hardly aware of his role well, so he mixes concepts and visions, which would affect the culture of the child. Their materials and programs directed at the child become strange for him in all aspects and even further from his values, morals and traditions. Hence, we should shed light on the importance of the story and its impact on preserving the cultural identity of the child, rather than supporting it.
Al Maany dictionary defined (human identity) as "meaning absolute truth and essential qualities, and it is the individual’s feeling of himself and his personality, as well as his preservation of his integrity, values, behaviors and ideas in various situations."
As for the cultural identity that should be hopefully established and strengthened, it means the cultural uniqueness of a particular individual or group, and what is covered in the meaning of culture, including habits and patterns of behavior, tendencies and values, and a view at the universe and life. This meaning also includes the religious and historical dimensions of the individual or group according to the fact that they represent one of its main components.
Since the child is the first cornerstone of society, he needs a higher focus and greater effort in order to establish the values and meanings of cultural identity inside him.
We cannot ignore what was mentioned in the lecture entitled, "Cultural Identity of Child" organized by Department of Cultural Affairs at Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah earlier, in which the researcher, Badea Khalil Al Hashemi stressed the cultural identity and the important role it plays in the lives of countries and societies, especially it reflects the civilization of such countries, their growth and characteristic as it represents one of the most important elements of patriotism, which is the major umbrella for belonging and loyalty to the homeland.
The story has a pivotal and influential role in the emotional and psychological formation of the child and in linking him with his values, customs and society, along with the consolidation of his religious and moral values. In this sense, Arab writers of children literature appeared and played an active role earlier. Kamel Kilani appeared by his book “Aspects of Prophet’s Life”, in which he simplified the life of Prophet Muhammad PBUH to fit the child's mentality. Then, a number of writers followed him by writing various religious books. In addition, the writer, Abdel Hamid Gouda Al Sahar, author of the series "Stories of Prophets" emerged. There are other books that tackled Holy Quran stories in certain narrative forms attracting the children, and there was the prophetic biography written by Ibn Hisham, and stories of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
The writers are still benefiting from that rich source, but they are blamed on the repetition, redundant statements and abiding by the traditional pattern initiated by the writers who preceded them.
The beginnings of children's literature in our Arab world emerged through translating some western stories, and then the situation was shifted to having interest in the heritage stock. Thus, the story of Kamel Al Kilani, "Sinbad the Sailor" was written in 1927. Then, some writers revised and refined the stories of One Thousand and One Nights to make them more suitable for children.
Others have also benefited and quoted from the book “Kalila wa Dimna” and tackled folk tales that were a basis, on which the writers depended for a long time and they still rely on them. However, it is important to distinguish between the inspiration from heritage and its simplification, so that the children's writers can leave their place from which they started long time ago!
One of the stories that greatly solidifying the national values of children is the story of "Forest and Hunter" written by the Sudanese writer, Amal Siraj, in which she presented the forest as a symbol of homeland, and considered the turtle's betrayal for the forest animals and its collusion with the hunter as a reason for punishing it, by forcing it to carry a stone on its back forever.
On an accelerating basis, we are currently witnessing some publishing houses’ infatuation with translating western books of children, without considering the translated material and its suitability for the taste and privacy of the Arab child, his culture and different environment. Some people believe that there are stories and magazines translated by such publishing houses extensively, and they are based on either absolute good or absolute evil such as the stories of "Super Man", "Batman" and others, despite they violate human nature, which led to the dissemination of inappropriate educational values in our societies!
There is another explicit accusation recently mentioned by some children's literature critics, which indicated that some writers are quoting their stories from western ones, meaning that this material contradicts with the privacy of the Arab child because it was not directed at him at all.
Perhaps it is important to point out here that maintaining the cultural identity of the Arab child seems to be complicated to the extent that private publishing houses may not be able to deal with it alone. Therefore, the governments and countries must intervene to implement many joint programs and theses to build a thicker cultural wall to protect the child and ensure that his ideas are not invaded.