Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa, Minister of Community Development for the UAE, highlighted the importance of a reading culture to the greater community as the Ministry of Community Development launched its UAE Month of Reading initiative, a comprehensive programme of events and initiatives aimed at maintaining an educated, cohesive and responsible society in the UAE.
The Ministry of Community Development has cooperated with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, and local authorities in an initiative which consists of 14 different activations and events throughout the month of March aimed at spreading a reading culture among children, people of determination, the elderly and all segments of community.
Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said: “A reading community is a healthy community and that’s why we are keen on maintaining a reading culture by applying this program through the month. Reading can be educational or relaxing, it brings together different segments of the community, lifts their spirits and increases their levels of positivity and happiness.”
The program includes initiatives such as the national “Read for Me” initiative, a special platform which helps people of determination, the elderly and hospital patients to engage with each other and the greater community and maintain mental health through reading sessions with children. ‘Open Reading Day’ is another initiative aimed at people of determination across the UAE while, ‘The Creative Novel’ initiative encourages this section of society to write novels. The ‘Our Parents’ Library’ initiative has also been launched to encourage reading among the elderly, while the ‘Knowledge Café’, hosted at Kuttab Café in Dubai on International Women’s Day, brought together a selection of female writers for a series of informal talks.
The ministry has dedicated several initiatives to children. A special ‘Learning My Rights’ event coincides with Emirati Children's Day, on March 15. This event will be hosted at community development centres across the UAE, to raise awareness among children about their rights within the community. A ‘Read for Children and Share’ campaign has been started on Social Media, while the book donation campaign ‘My Book for Happy Yemeni children’ has been launched with cooperation of Red Crescent to spread awareness and education in other communities. A special event on March 21 coincides with World Down Syndrome Day.
The Ministry of Community Development has also cooperated with ‘Knowledge without Borders’ a Sharjah-based cultural initiative, to organize the ‘Reading Cart’, an activation which gives employees of the ministry the chance to give and exchange books. A ‘Book Journey’ initiative will allow ministry employees to borrow books, while the and ‘Mobile Book Fair’ offers the latest books in the premises of the Ministry.
A special ‘Reading Distinction’ will be awarded by the Ministry of Community Development at the end of the month for the best reading environment, best reading initiative and the best public reading activity.