Students’ aspirations for the future of reading
On Monday 24th of October 2016, the Reading Committee, in cooperation with the Office of College Activities and Community Support in UAEU, organized a student symposium, entitled "Student's expectations about the future of reading". This was part of the State’s directive to make 2016 a “Year of Reading”, and a number of faculty members and students attended this event.
On the first day, the student symposium discussed the future of reading and the effectiveness of the initiatives and activities undertaken in UAEU. The student Jawaher Al Hassani commented: "I am very happy with these events that go straight to the heart of reading... my vision of the future of reading is optimistic and bright after the Year of Reading 2016”. She also presented the “My university book is in my future kids’ library” initiative. This calls for former university students to donate their old books to the next generation of students. In this way, a transfer of knowledge can begin from one generation to the next.
In turn, the student Amnah Al Zyoudi highlighted the differences between people who read and those who do not, saying: "the reader is an innovative leader and a visionary... readers are the future leaders”. She also discussed the contents of books and how to select the right book for you, so as to benefit from all the knowledge that it contains and how this, in turn, will produce a more conscious and educated society.
The student Ibrahim Al Baloushi talked about his experience with reading since childhood, and how it has helped to build his character and ideas. He gave examples of historical books, saying: "reading is the basis of a renaissance of ideas, and through it we protect the communities from alien ideas." Lastly, the student Khaled Saqer discussed some historical works of leaders of the UAE State and their role in enriching the knowledge society, saying: "a book puts in your hands the thoughts that help to build our minds".
The symposium ran over two days and concluded with a presentation on the future of reading. Students from the Department of Geography suggested allocating a library in each Department of each College, so as to encourage a greater exchange of ideas, and as a way for students to use their free time more effectively. This is especially important, given that the UAE nation has spent vast sums to make learning readily available to students.