Ministry of Culture & Youth announce key events for UAE Reading Month 2022

Ministry of Culture & Youth announce key events for UAE Reading Month 2022

The Ministry of Culture and Youth today announced the most important events during Reading Month 2022, being held under the theme UAE Reads.

Mubarak Al Nakhi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Youth, revealed some key events and initiatives under the theme "UAE Reads".

"Dedicating a full month to reading is in continuation of an integrated national programme aimed at strengthening a culture of reading and intensifying initiatives and programmes to support it. It is part of a series of cultural, intellectual and literary projects launched by the UAE since the inception of Reading Month,"

"This year, the Ministry of Culture and Youth adopted the slogan ‘UAE Reads’ for the Reading Month, in line with the government’s vision to make reading a way of life in Emirati society. We encourage community participation in events and activities organised by various institutions during the month to expand their scope to broader cross-sections of society."

He revealed that the results of the 2021 Emirates National Reading Index developed in cooperation with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), will be announced at the end of the Reading Month. The results will reflect the efforts in making reading a way of life for people by 2026.

Ali Al Shaali, Acting Under-Secretary for the Heritage and Arts Sector, Ministry of Culture and Youth, reviewed the Reading Month roster of events. The activities will begin with a special session entitled "Emirati Creator Icon of Culture", which coincides with International Women's Day. This session will have members of the public interact with Emirati luminaries who have made a mark in the field of culture.

A session discussing the impact of bedtime stories on children will look at the educational and psychological dimensions of children’s literature. For example, there will be an Emirati poetry evening to coincide with World Poetry Day on 21st March. A group of contemporary poets from the UAE will present their works and discuss the journey of poetry and how this literary form of expression has transformed over the ages.

Al Shaali stated that the Ministry of Culture and Youth would announce the results of the UAE National Reading Index 2021, in partnership with the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics at the end of the month.

Saeed Al Nazari, Director-General of Federal Youth Association, announced the launch of the Emirates Literary Youth Majlis, to promote literary conversations among the youth and encourage them to engage in critiquing literature. The council is actively participating in events at Expo 2020 Dubai to support reading.

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre During the Reading Month, Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) organises various initiatives, including the 50,000-reader initiative, which will provide free three-month subscriptions to read e-books and listen to audiobooks. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, reviewed the events organised by the centre. In addition to the "Bookcase" initiative, the centre has also set up three bookshops in different locations, including malls and public parks, where books will be available at special discounts throughout March.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre will also organise events in Umm Al Emarat Park for families and children.

The centre will also launch a special programme for poetry, story reading, painting workshops, and a unique website dedicated to poetry. It will release the largest printed poetry encyclopaedia and launch an integrated creative writing programme.

Dubai Culture The Dubai Arts and Culture Authority or Dubai Culture will launch three initiatives encompassing 65 different activities. Dr. Saeed Mubarak Kharbash, Executive Director of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, has announced the following initiatives: A two-week exhibition of books in Al Twar Library; reading sessions for children at the Rashidiya and Hor Al Anz libraries, and a workshop on Arabic calligraphy at Hatta library.

The authority will also launch more than 100 virtual activities, including story-telling sessions in Arabic and English, poetry readings, author meeting sessions, and so on.

Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi Addressing the press conference, Professor Sheikha Al Muhairi, Director of Libraries Management at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, said that Book House libraries offer programmes to all segments of society from different age groups. The library initiative also seeks to host several virtual as well as in-person events to encourage the public to read.

Other initiatives by the department include the 50-year-old Knowledge Cabinet Exhibition at Zayed Central Library, reading sessions with children's books authors and creative writing workshops. The ninth session of the Creative Reader Competition evaluation and the launch of the third season of the Library Talk Programme will also be a part of its roster.

Sharjah Book Authority Badr Saab, Head of Corporate Communication at Sharjah Book Authority, said that Sharjah Public Libraries is launching quality initiatives, focusing on means that encourage reading and inculcating the values of continuous learning among community members. The authority is launching more than 35 activities to highlight knowledge fields preferred by readers, seminars targeting groups facing reading challenges, and interactive public events combining entertainment and knowledge.

The Sharjah Public Libraries will present several films based on books that have made a mark in the world of literature. It will also launch a Reading Club to review and discuss contemporary books.

To enhance reading skills among all segments of society, including those with reading challenges, the elderly and housewives, and encourage them to read, Sharjah Libraries is organising a series of seminars through the Round Table initiative to discuss topics that would interest the readers. These include topics such as "creating reading opportunities and providing channels for lifelong learning", and "promoting reading for children and young adults as part of mandatory education".

The Sharjah Book Authority will also organise several activities and events in various libraries of the emirate, targeting different groups of society. These include a workshop entitled "How do I market my book?" presented by novelist Maryam Abdul Kreem Al Farsi at the Kalba Public Library and at the Al Taid Library. Dr. Huda Al Habib will present the "Energy Reading" workshop, which "includes the concept of "energy reading" and its different types.

The Daba Al Husn Library is hosting a session entitled "Smart Reading Skills", during which Mona Al Naqbi will speak about the difference between paper reading and smart reading, the importance of digital reading in the era of the information revolution, and the skills gained by reading smartly.

During the press conference, the Sharjah Book Authority announced that the UAE government employees would get the opportunity to register for free for a smart membership for one year.

Emirates Literature Foundation is launching nine initiatives during Reading Month, with two main objectives - to spread a love of reading for fun and connect local and international writers and encourage greater communication between them.

According to Ahlam Bolooki, Director of Emirates Literature Foundation, the foundation's first initiative, the Reading Caravan, supports reading and spreads the love of books. The initiative has selected a group of local writers who will tour with the caravan to all the seven emirates. Another initiative deals with correctional and penal institutions, including a Book Club for either Arabic- and English-speaking guests. The book club will discuss a book every month from a pre-decided list of books.

The second initiative encompasses virtual student sessions of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. These are recorded sessions of several writers and school students, available throughout the month to follow them and take advantage of the unique semi-interactive content.

Aisha Sultan, Head of the Cultural Committee at the Culture and Science Symposium, announced the launch of the "Knowledge Challenge", where professional readers will compete to read books on various subjects.

Asma Siddiq Al Mutawa, Founder and President of the Forum Salon, revealed the details of the "Asma Siddiq Al Mutawa for the first novel" award for new writers and opened the competition for submissions. It will also conduct the Al Multaqa Literary Salon competition of the literary forum on feminist literature on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March. The event will host questions on the social media platforms of the salon and give away awards at the end of the month. In addition to these, there will be several virtual events.

The Reading Month reflects the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai to establish a culture of science and knowledge, and implement the cultural, intellectual and literary projects launched by the UAE government.

One of the most critical national targets is for reading to become a well-established behaviour among 50 per cent of Emiratis, and for 80 per cent of school students by 2026.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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