Dubai: A leading initiative to support school libraries with more than one million new books was launched on Thursday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Covering various cultural, intellectual and knowledge fields, the one-million-book initiative aims to instil the value of reading in new generations and enrich school and university content across the country.
Shaikh Mohammad launched the initiative to mark the beginning of the UAE’s National Month of Reading, which falls on March of every year. This year’s edition will feature more than 1,700 initiatives and events that will be held across the country.
“Today, the Month of Reading begins in the UAE during which everyone spares no effort to consolidate such a cultural habit within our society and generations,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
He also called for concerted efforts to participate in the event and work to make it a success to meet the objectives of the National Reading Strategy.
“Today, we announce the launch of an initiative to develop reading content and support our school libraries with a million new books. Our end goal is to establish a new reality for reading in our country,” the Vice President added.
“We have a reading law and national targets that include raising the reading rate of 80 per cent of students and increasing the national content from 400 books annually to 4,000 in 2026. Our ambition is to prepare generations who would be capable of bringing about development leaps, ensuring the excellence of our country and enhancing our competitiveness,” Shaikh Mohammad further said.
“Creating a tolerant society, cohesive families and a societal, civilised consciousness would not be possible without culture, reading and knowledge.” Shaikh Mohammad concluded.
Throughout the month, the event will witness several initiatives including ‘A Book with a Minister’, an initiative in which a one-minute video will show a minister talking about a book that he read and the impact that the book has left on him. The video will be circulated across social media platforms to encourage the public to read.
The ‘Reading Hour’ is another initiative by which a specific hour of the Month of Reading’s days will be allocated for the employees of the federal and local government agencies to choose a book to read.
The ‘Reading Carnival’ initiative will also be launched during March in all emirates with the participation of many bodies. It will include a variety of activities including a book fair, reading sessions, reading workshops, plays and others targeting school students and various community groups.
Earlier last month, the committee in charge of implementing the National Reading Law held a brainstorming session to discuss a wide range of ideas, initiatives and events to enrich the Month of Reading.
The committee called on all stakeholders, institutions and various sectors of society to participate in the activities of the National Month of Reading. Anyone can access the official website — www.reading.gov.ae — for the calendar of events, activities, programmes and initiatives to be held in this month.