The Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation today announced its support of Dubai Cares' One Million Book Challenge, pledging 100,000 books to children in need across the Arab world.

The Foundation's prompt response comes only a day after the launch of Dubai Cares' volunteering campaign.
Announcing the Million Book Challenge on 2 November, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday called on Dubai school students from the ages of 3-14 years to collectively read one million books in two weeks. For each book read, Dubai Cares will purchase a book and donate to needy children across the world. The distribution of books will be managed by the global organization Room to Read and Arab NGOs.

Praising the campaign's noble objectives, Yasser Hareb, Acting CEO, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, said: “Our contribution to the Million Book Challenge underscores our mission towards establishing knowledge societies across the Arab world. It is critically important to educate and encourage our children to nurture their reading habits. Reading is an essential tool towards building knowledgeable and innovative societies.

“The books donated by the Foundation will cover a wide range of subjects, including international literary classics that will be presented in a simplified and attractive manner. Several titles will be translated from various languages including English, French, Italian, and Swedish. We hope our contribution will widen the horizons of children across the Arab world and educate them on virtues such as cooperation, tolerance, honesty, integrity, among other typical values of our Arab culture.''

Yasser Hareb also announced the Foundation will provide grants to writers who embark on writing children's books and help meet the objectives of the Dubai Cares campaign.

He added: “Through ‘Oktub', the Foundation's ambitious authors' grants programme, we are eager to contribute to the noble goals of Dubai Cares campaign, which closely reflect our vision for the region's future.

“There is also an acute need for talented writers for children in the region. We hope our initiative will enable aspiring Arab writers across the Arab world to explore this important literary genre. We look forward to generating indigenous literary output that contributes to the children's development in the Arab world.''

Launched by the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation in December 2007, the authors' grants programme ‘Oktub' seeks to reverse the decline of intellectual output in the region by encouraging and nurturing gifted writers across the Arab world.