Challenge for families in UAE: How many books can you read in a month?

Dubai - March 1 marks the beginning of the 'Month of Reading' in the UAE.

By Staff Report

Published: Mon 1 Mar 2021, 9:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 1 Mar 2021, 10:01 PM

UAE residents on Monday reported noticing their mobile network names had been changed to “UAE Reads”. That’s because March 1 marks the beginning of the Month of Reading in the UAE, an annual initiative to foster a better culture of reading among citizens and residents alike.

Several events — from workshops to seminars and more — are being organised across the country under this year’s theme: ‘My Family Reads’.

The Month of Reading 2021 initiative has been designed to enhance the role of parents in instilling a love of reading in their children, highlighting its vital role in early childhood development.

“We can reinforce the role of the family and the community in changing reading patterns among individuals, through various events in all institutions, schools and universities, such as public initiatives and programmes that encourage innovation,” said Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the UAE President and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University.

Dr Ali bin Tamim, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, added: “The Month of Reading is one of the country’s most important strategic initiatives, a directive from our leadership that aims to build a generation of future leaders armed with culture and knowledge.”

Commenting on the theme for this year, Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “Whilst there is a focus on creating a new generation of readers, we mustn’t forget that adults can play a huge role in shaping children’s attitudes towards books.

“If you read for pleasure yourself and read books regularly with your children, you are very likely to ensure that your offspring become avid readers. I hope not only parents, but grandparents, aunts and uncles also get involved in the family challenge, because books and the joy they bring should be enjoyed by everyone.”

The Year of Reading was first celebrated in 2016. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had declared every March since would be an annual month of reading.


>> The Emirates Literature Foundation has launched a reading challenge open to everyone in the UAE. There are two categories, individual and family, and entries can be in either Arabic or English. To enter, people simply have to read as many books as they can in one month and share the list of books with a one-line review for each.

>> MAKTABA will host multiple children’s reading sessions, held in both English and Arabic, as well as artistic children’s workshops, to keep up with the theme of cultivating the reading habit among children.

>> 30 books will be announced by the Kalima Project for Translation and Esdarat, with a new book named daily throughout March.

>> A virtual Arabic language programme, ‘Ad-Dhad Language’, will be launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and will consist of 10 virtual educational sessions.

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