By Dr. Ahmed Albanna
“The literate society is a civilized society, and those who support literacy will help in building a civilization and support a knowledge economy, as well as support building generations that embrace the future of the UAE.”
HH Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
This quote in a true sense explains the motive behind observing the month of March as the month of reading in the United Arab Emirates.
Following a successful Year of Reading back in 2016, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai declared that every March would be an annual month of reading.
It is marked by a rich and diverse calendar of engaging activities and sustainable initiatives that motivate the community to read with the aim of transforming reading into a daily habit for everyone and equip, with knowledge, a future generation capable of driving the perpetual growth journey of the UAE.
This initiative is aimed to achieve the national strategic vision for reading to be “reading a way of life in the UAE by 2026.”
Major objective of this initiative is to preserve the cultural, intellectual and knowledge-based achievements of the UAE and build an exemplary model for others to follow.
It also encourages entities to initiate sustainable efforts that promote the culture of reading and ensure that the development of knowledge and culture is a priority on the annual agenda of both the public and private sectors.
It also has potential to enrich and support the knowledge and cultural infrastructure in UAE and build a future generation of leaders equipped with culture and knowledge.
Further it also encourages the community in UAE to read daily and advocate the culture of reading as part of the individual’s daily routine.
And also introduces creative and innovative initiatives to increase interest in reading, raise awareness and showcase its importance and value to the community in UAE.
Slogan for month of reading of this year i.e. March 2021 is “My Family Reads.”
This slogan is aimed to support and enhance the parents’ role in embedding the love of reading among children, to raise a positive generation that is passionate about reading and knowledge.
It is also aimed to highlight the importance of reading and emphasis on its huge role in early childhood development.
This will also help to establish a reading culture as a habit among society and strengthen its role as a key indicator of family bonding in Emirati society.
Further, it will establish reading culture as an entertainment, discovery and inspiration among children.
As we know that, Knowledge is not just the distinction of a person, it is also a basic need and the only mean to fulfill this basic need is to study. For an educated person, the task of building and developing a society is also important.Therefore; study is also our social need.
If a person completes his education and is content with it, then his field of thought and vision will become very narrow.Reading is the key to talent and the best tool to awaken abilities.It is the charisma of the reading that man keeps expanding his knowledge at every moment.Moreover, the angle of thought keeps widening.
It is not needless to emphasize that reading is a habit that can make us a better person. We get knowledge and inspiration from reading.
Many great people recommend reading for a good and successful life. They believe that the habit of reading can make our life successful and there are many examples of this. Reading explores new thoughts and ideas in our mind, which help us to take right decisions to move forward.
Many people, who work through books, incorporate their experiences into life.They say that, reading books helps a lot.Reading novels, stories, poems etc. entertains us; it gives peace to our mind.
We try to imagine everything we read.Reading is a health exercise for our brain.Reading improves our concentration power.It also improves our emotional health.We feel joy, sorrow, love etc. by reading books.A good book helps us grow emotionally.
It helps to improve our memory.Apart from this; we also learn many new words, which improve our vocabulary and our communication skills.
When we study anything we become engrossed in it, we forget our past and remain in the present moment.Reading books makes us forget our bad memories. This helps us reduce stress.
Books are one of the most powerful things in the world.They provide us new opportunities to gain knowledge, move forward and stay motivated.
Good books are like a great investment.If we read them, we observe great thoughts and experiences.Seeing so many benefits of reading, we can say that reading is a good habit and we all should adopt it in our life.
If we want to move forward in our life and want to develop, then we have to adopt the habit of reading.
I look forward to seeing more feathers in the UAE’s cap in years to come and sure, that UAE’s love for books and the written word will develop innovative ideas and create a culture of knowledge through reading in the UAE and will enlighten the global community in a large spectrum.
The author is the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to India