Acting upon the announcement of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, that 2016 is to be the ‘Year of Reading’, the United Arab Emirates University launched a Reading Carnival. It is also a commitment to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The opening ceremony was attended by Dr. Mohamed Al Baili, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ghaleb Al Hadrami, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment and a number of faculty, staff, students and high school students.
Dr. Al Baili stressed that reading is one of the main pillars underpinning UAEU’s attempts to build skills and potential that can contribute to the process of cognitive development. He noted the role of the university in supporting creativity, innovation and intellectual development as the UAE strives to create a knowledge based society. Reading is a tool for gaining knowledge and for interacting with international culture.
The carnival includes a series of events aimed at promoting the role and importance of reading and encouraging a reading culture in society in more than just one language. This carnival promotes reading in public places and making reading a daily activity in every student’s life. In addition to providing a fun and varied experience reading can provide individuals with experiences and knowledge to prepare them for community service.
The events include a number of seminars about the relationship between happiness and reading; the importance of reading in predicting the future, as well as some cultural programs dealing with the concept of reading and how it relates to the interests of the individual and society. There was also a book cafe, a question and answer quiz and a variety of reading workshops for all ages.