Sharjah: Knowledge knows no boundaries, and in the case of Sharjah, knowledge has been rapidly spreading all the way from Shais Village near Kalba down to the mountainous valley of Wadi Hilu.
Emirati families living in remote villages within the territories of Sharjah have been among the first to benefit from the government-led initiative, Knowledge without Borders, which is responsible in providing every Emirati home with a library of books.
Each library includes 50 titles from different genres, appealing to various ages and interests. Topics include religion, science and health, as well as fictional novels and children's story books.
"Knowledge has no borders and that is why we are aiming to achieve the maximum coverage across all the areas of Sharjah, so that even people who are usually not exposed to books can expand their literary knowledge," said Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, deputy head of the organising committee of Knowledge without Borders.
The project is being carried out in several phases to cover all areas of the emirate and since its launch last November, 35 families have so far received libraries: Eight in Shais Village and 27 in Nahwa Village.
"By next month, we will be focusing on the families living at Wadi Hilu. We are not just targeting children, but also parents. We are currently in the process of distributing libraries of Arabic books to between 22,000 and 24,000 families in the emirate of Sharjah, with the hope of encouraging reading within the family," said Al Sarkal. He noted that the donated books are selected by taking into consideration the ages and educational background of the families.
Under the direction of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the Knowledge without Borders initiative aims to increase general knowledge of local community members, reemphasise Sharjah's position as the cultural capital of the Arab world, and reestablish the national identity among its citizens.
The Knowledge without Borders campaign also aims to assist in preserving Islamic and Arabic identity and language.
Part of the campaign also includes the collaboration from local celebrities who will visit private and public schools to hold reading sessions. The first celebrity reading was held recently by local racing legend Mohammad Bin Sulayem, who visited the American International School in Sharjah.
Bin Sulayem sat down with 30 eight-year-olds and read the story, Me and My Left Hand, to them in Arabic, as well as pointing out the importance of and fun that can had from reading as opposed to watching television and playing online games.
Campaign: Preserving Islamic and Arab identity
Knowledge without Borders campaign, a government initiative, aims to increase general knowledge among local communities, and preserve Islamic and Arabic identity and language by providing each Emirati home with a library of 50 books.
It was launched in November last year and so far 35 families, eight in Sheis Village and 27 in Nahwa Village, have received libraries.
Up to 24,000 Emirati families are expected to benefit from this initiative. Part of the campaign includes celebrity reading sessions at schools.