Dubai: The Ministry of Culture and Youth today announced the launch of the Reading Month 2022 under the slogan ‘UAE Reads’. The Reading Month embodies the national vision to prepare a generation of readers and establish the UAE as a culture and knowledge hub.
The UAE celebrates the Reading Month every March, in accordance with the Cabinet’s decision. As part of this initiative, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, along with its federal and local partners, executes a month-long programme to foster a knowledge-based society.
Under the aegis of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Reading Month demonstrates the UAE leadership’s endeavour to establish a culture of science and knowledge among its people and promote intellectual growth in society.
The initiative aims to establish reading as a habit among 50 per cent of Emirati adults and 80 per cent of school students by 2026.
‘Country’s progress and wellbeing of citizens’
Noura Bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The Reading Month is closely linked to the efforts of the UAE to establish a knowledge-based economy for the country’s progress and the wellbeing of its citizens and prepare for the future. Promoting a reading culture in society and driving initiatives aimed at raising the level of intellectual growth among its people are key priorities in the annual agenda of the government and private sectors in the UAE.”
The minister said Reading Month “doesn’t end after a month of reading activities, but it is an ongoing movement to cultivate the habit of reading as a fundamental part of society’s development”.
‘Ability to analyse’
“The importance of reading not only determines the ability of an individual to acquire language skills, but also contributes to their social and cognitive skills. Reading gives us a new perspective on things and an ability to analyse and critique everything. It is an essential part of learning and helps develop our ability to gain knowledge from around the world,” she pointed out.
Reading Month is an annual event, during which, various government and private entities, along with educational and cultural institutions, participate in a roster of programmes to build a readers’ society armed with science and knowledge. Reading develops the mental faculties and boosts self-confidence, while also helping people achieve professional success.
UAE’s overarching aim
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had passed the ten-year National Reading Strategy, a first-of-its-kind strategy in the world. The strategy supports the UAE’s overarching aim of developing human capital and contributing to building better cognitive ability among communities. It will play a key role in supporting national intellectual development and building a knowledge-based society.
The National Reading Strategy establishes binding frameworks for all government agencies in the educational, community, media and cultural sectors to establish reading among all groups of society in different age groups. It seeks to enshrine reading as an integral part of the country’s social fabric. The strategy covers development, promotion and support systems to foster reading as a cultural construct.
The choice of the slogan ‘UAE Reads’ for Reading Month 2022 stems from the UAE government’s drive to promote a culture of reading as a way of life in Emirati society and reading being integral to its institutions and the nation’s development.
The slogan ‘UAE Reads’ is based on the vision of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which goes to say that nation-building is not only focused on material or technological development, but depends primarily on building the human capital, which is the true building block of a nation.
The slogan ‘UAE Reads’ also works to enhance community’s participation and supports institutions to launch activities and events throughout the Reading Month, expanding the scope of reading initiatives to touch upon different walks of life.