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This year, the theme of the month, as identified by the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCY), is ‘My Family Reads.’ Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Culture on Sunday said it has launched its 2021 edition of The Reading Box in a digital format as part of its continuous keenness to implement National Reading Month.

This year, the theme of the month, as identified by the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCY), is ‘My Family Reads.’ This affirms Dubai Culture’s active role in promoting the habit of reading among society and making it an established habit, the authority stated.

The Reading Box will provide a variety of educational workshops remotely through Microsoft Teams that will encourage the younger generation to read and write. The workshops will be available in both Arabic and English.

Series of activities

This initiative is part of a series of activities through which Dubai Culture seeks to build a reading society that adopts science and knowledge as habits and a means to develop high standards of civilisation, in line with the authority’s commitment to support the National Reading Strategy 2016-2026. Dubai Culture’s support also assists in the implementation of the UAE Cabinet’s decision that set March as a national month for reading.

Reading music

The first week of the programme will be held from March 7 to 13 and will include an open workshop titled ‘Introduction to reading music (solfegio)’ presented by Mohamad Hamami, a Syrian violinist, conductor, and composer who founded Dubai-based SharQ Orchestra in 2008.

Secrets of writing

Thriller lovers looking to explore the secrets of writing in a captivating manner that would grab readers’ attention from the first page are encouraged to engage with a workshop titled ‘Writing thrillers: from idea to story,’ presented in English from 4:30pm to 6pm on March 10.

Innovative form
The Reading Box is one of the annual initiatives organised by the Public Libraries Department at Dubai Culture. The first version was launched in 2016 in a new and innovative form at the Dubai Mall to instill the concept of reading among society, especially the youth, in all public places, making reading a permanent societal behaviour practised by individuals, even in shopping centres.
The initiative’s full programme and updates on the reading month can be viewed on Dubai Public Libraries’ Instagram account.

During the workshop, British journalist and writer Annabel Kantaria will introduce attendees to the key elements that every thriller needs as well as reveal insider tips and techniques on how to write a story that would keep readers hooked. She is the winner of the inaugural Montegrappa Writing Prize at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Emirati historical novel

The week will continue with a session on ‘The Emirati historical novel’ on March11 by Ghaith Al Hosani, founder of the Mosaic Initiative that deals with empowering reading culture in society, founder of Russian Literature Salon, and board member and chairperson of the Reading and Innovation Committee of the Emirates Library and Information Association.

The session will witness the participation of two Emirati writers, Nadia Al Najjar, author of The Speckled Tiger, which was included in the Arabic language curriculum for fourth-grade students in the UAE; and Saliha Obaid, author of ‘Alzheimer’ that was translated to German and ‘Implicitly White Lock of Hair’ that won the ‘Al Owais Creative Award’ in 2016.