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Session held to impart interest in Arabic literature among kids

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Sharjah / Emirates Business

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, sponsored by Emirates Telecommunications Corpor- ation (Etisalat) and organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), held a number of discussion panels at two schools in the Northern emirates — one at Umm Al Shahid primary school in Umm Al Quwain and one at Salem Suhail Primary School in Ras Al Khaimah.
The twin activities were instigated to be in line with the declaration from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan that 2016 would be the ‘Year of Reading’ in the UAE and to be in alignment with the national policy of promoting a love of books in the country.
In the presence of Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager, Etisalat Northern Emirates, took part in the discussions at both schools. He spoke about the importance of reading to build the students’ personalities and encouraged them to participate in the Arab Reading Challenge, an initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The challenge is the largest Arabic project to promote reading among students and involves one million youngsters from across the Arab world committed to reading 50 million books throughout every academic year.
Reading sessions were also organised alongside the discussions at the two schools. At Umm Al Shahid primary school the UAEBBY team recited ‘Qet Shaqi Jeddan’ (‘Naughty Kitty’) by author, Abeer Taher, winner of the 2014 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature.
The students also participated in the interactive workshop held immediately after the session, which incorporated the book’s theme in a simple, representative style. By the end of the workshop, gifts were given as souvenirs to the gathered students.
At Salem Suhail Primary School, the UAEBBY team held a reading session in which they read ‘Kaenat Saqf Al Ghorfa’ (‘Creatures on the Ceiling’) by author Nabiha Mhaidli, winner of 2012 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature.
As with the reading activity at Umm Al Shahid primary school, the session was aimed at promoting a culture of reading among students and instilling within them a love of Arabic literature through presenting the best titles by talented Arabic authors, illustrators and publishers.
During both school visits, HE Taryam presented a number of titles that had been recipients of the ‘Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature’ over the past few years, with the books now established as important works in the respective schools’ libraries. The books will be available to students throughout the school year, with HE Taryam’s highlighting of them designed to attract more children and young adult readers to the publications.
“Sponsoring the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature aligns with Etisalat’s social responsibility towards children and young people and forms part of its goal to be one of the most proactive organisations in the UAE that supports children’s literature. Over the past few years, Etisalat has directly contributed to promoting reading by addressing the pressing need for providing a rich and valuable literary content to
children and adolescents. It does this by presenting prizes and awards to motivate authors and illustrators
to create books of high literary
and artistic standards, which will attract children and young people to the world of reading,” said HE Abdul Aziz Taryam.
Taryam added; “Our tour to the Northern Emirates’ schools highlights the keenness of Etisalat to promote the award’s objectives and benefits in all regions of the UAE. It also encourages students to adopt reading as a way of life that helps them build their intellectual capacities, putting the proverb ‘books are the best companions of all’ into action every day. This is why we are promoting reading as a noble habit by touring schools in the UAE.”
For her part, Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, said; “In collaboration with the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, UAEBBY seeks to provide children with Arabic books of a high literary and artistic merit. We greatly appreciate the important role that Etisalat plays in encouraging authors, illustrators and publishers to be creative and unique in the field of children’s books, as well as for providing a platform for talented people who work in this industry.”

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