Zayed Award promotes reading culture in UAE - GulfToday

Zayed Award promotes reading culture in UAE


The Award honours the outstanding achievements of innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts and humanities.

ABU DHABI: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, an initiative by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is organising two panels in March as part of the Month of Reading to help promote a culture of reading in the UAE.

The first panel, titled “The Role of Literary Prizes in Increasing Readership”, took place recently was organised in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain.

Featured panellists included Vice Dean of College of Education at the UAEU Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, and Emirati Author Fatima Al Mazroui, who discussed the positive effects that these awards have on reading initiatives.

Mouza Jamal Al Shamsi, Sheikh Zayed Book Award Director “Allocating a month for reading is a reflection of the nation’s cultural mobility, and we can see first-hand the solid impact of the various initiatives launched by government entities in the UAE that have strengthened the fabric of community and motivated individuals to engage with these knowledgeable initiatives.”

She added: “We need to foster reading as an integral part of our lives. It is an absolute necessity as it introduces new perspectives to us and contributes to self-development. As such, we were keen for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award to contribute to this extraordinary cultural movement.”

“Since the Month of Reading was announced in 2016, government and private establishments have launched several initiatives and activities to celebrate reading,” said Dr. Al Kaabi. “Reading plays a vital role in how we gain, understand, and share knowledge as well as how we understand and communicate information. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is a great example of how cooperation can support the culture of reading, encourage people – especially the younger generation – to read, and motivate young talent to embrace literature.”

The second event ‘Children’s Story Telling’ will be hosted in partnership with Magrudy Bookstore, at 3pm in Al Wahda Mall branch, Abu Dhabi on 29 March. Emirati writer Hessa Al Muhairi and 2018 winner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children Literature Hala Al Bassar will discuss the importance of encouraging a culture of reading among younger generations in an effort to promote children’s literature. Throughout the Month of Reading, DCT Abu Dhabi is organising a number of specialised activities, including story time, poetry recitals, creative writing workshops, creative writing contests and other workshops and seminars, which is open to all ages.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honours the outstanding achievements of innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts and humanities in Arabic and other languages. Launched in 2006 and covering nine categories, the award promotes creativity, advances Arabic literature and culture, and provides new opportunities for Arabic-language writers.

The Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike.  The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment.  Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.  The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage.  A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

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