Barclays Wealth, a global wealth management institution, in its cemented commitment to support the communities and societies it operates in, revealed today, in another step to support levels of literacy and knowledge in the Arab Word, its participation in the second annual Emirates Airlines International Festival for Literacy (EAIFL).
The EAIFL, which is a celebration of literature including more than 80 of the world’s leading authors from Martin Amis to Youssef Ziedan, is the Middle East’s largest annual literary festival and includes a series of translation workshops focused at highlighting and addressing the need for literacy. It is noteworthy, that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen an astonishing increase in literacy rates, for instance the UAE had a 53% literacy rate in 1989 compared to 98% today.
Soha Nashaat, CEO of Barclays Wealth, Middle East and North Africa said: “We are honoured to sponsor this festival as we support the spread of literacy across the Arab World, foster and promote local Arab writing talent, encourage the love of reading from the earliest possible age and engage audiences in multi- and cross-cultural debates.”
She added: “Barclays Wealth and the Barclays Group have a long tradition of supporting the local communities in which they operate, with a diverse range of sponsorships focusing on sports, charities, arts, literature and thought leadership. For example, in the UK, Barclays Wealth has sponsored the internationally acclaimed Hay Festival of Literature, held in the small town of Hay-on-Wye, for the past three years. In the UAE, Barclays has undertaken several other educational programs including one that aims to support and develop the financial capability skills of lower income people and another one that aims at widening the range of teaching models available to children with special needs.”
Commenting on the literacy support within the Arab World, Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director, at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, said: “We are very grateful to Barclays Wealth for supporting us and sponsoring the 2010 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. It is organizations such as Barclays Wealth, with their encouragement and recognition of the need to create a more literate Arab world, that help us to continue the work that we do.”
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature offers residents and overseas visitors the opportunity to meet famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings and participate in workshops. The event will be returning to the InterContinental Hotel Event Centre at Dubai Festival City and takes place from the 10th – 13th of March. On the 10th of March, Barclays will host an author session with Martin Amis – the British novelist known for a series of best-selling novels such as Money (1986) and London Fields (1989).
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