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Reading opens Minds and Science is Key to Prosperity

The «2016 Year of Reading Initiative » represents a new step in the journey of UAE   towards consolidating the culture of science and knowledge in the hearts of citizens and residents and acquaintance with the cultures of the world. This initiative falls within the vision established by the late, founder of the UAE, H.H Sheikh. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Such visions has been based upon the fact that the building of states is not based only on physical and technological construction, but it depends primarily on building the human being, who forms the true brick of any development and success.  

Under the directives of H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Cabinet has approved 2016 Year of Reading Initiative. The Cabinet has also issued its directives in respect of preparation of an integrated national framework for producing a generation of readers and the establishing the State as a capital of content, culture and knowledge.

H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, said that "We have directed that 2016 is to be the Year of Reading because reading is the basic skill for building new generation of scientists, thinkers, researchers and innovators.

His Highness added that the establishment of a knowledge-based economy, the change of the course of development to be based on science and innovation and achievement of sustainability in the prosperity of our country cannot be based upon the importation of experiences from abroad, but rather by cultivating and nurturing such experiences within our country. Therefore, such experiences will help in growing up and raising an educated and aware generation of the developments of the world, in which we live, and its best ideas and latest theories in all sectors.

His Highness, President of the UAE, said that "Reading open minds, enhances tolerance, openness and communication, and builds a civilized people by neglecting extremism and narrow-mindedness. Our goal is to establish the UAE as the global cultural capital par excellence, to make a permanent behavioral change, and to immunize the future generations culturally."

"The key to prosperity will remain science, the key to science will be reading and the first message from heaven to earth will remain "READ" H.H said.

Mohammed bin Rashid: By reading, minds are to be civilized, souls are to be tolerated, thinking is to be promoted and perception is to be expanded. 

H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, directed to begin implementation of the directives of His Highness, President of UAE, by preparing a comprehensive national framework for graduating a generation of readers and establishing the State as the capital of content, culture and knowledge.

"We have book fairs, cultural festivals, prizes for authors and poets, and initiatives to protect the language and encourage reading. We are qualified to be the capital of culture, reading, knowledge and content," H.H said.

"The UAE has set a goal in the next period to change the course of development to be based on science, knowledge and innovation. The need for such cadres requires a behavioral change in society to drive our generations towards reading, knowledge and awareness to graduate generations of scientists and researchers" H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum added. 

His Highness said: "Scientists, thinkers, researchers and innovators do not descend from heaven, but their structure is built in the earth, the strongest base on which the structure of someone can be built is the love of reading and the passion for knowledge. The current generations suffer from a crisis of reading and knowledge, and we do not praise ourselves when it comes to the development of these generations. Further, the government is committed to the graduation of an educated, intellectual generation reinforced culturally, linguistically and intellectually".

H.H added "By reading, minds are to be civilized, souls are to be tolerated, thinking is to be promoted and perception is to be expanded. The employee who reads is better than the one who does not; the student who reads is better than the student who does not; the educated and well-informed society is immune, modern and copping with the world. We want reading to be in every house and family, to be adopted by every child and youth, to be in every ministry, institution, body and private company, to be in schools, universities, commercial centers, means of transport in all languages and for all nationalities . Our goal is to have a modern society of readers. Reading is the basic skill for any people who want to maintain the development of its members and to gain their knowledge constantly".

His Highness said: "We want the UAE to be the beacon of science and knowledge as was Andalusia, Granada, Baghdad and other capitals that have been the source of enlightenment and knowledge for many centuries. We are able and willing and confident of our ability to achieve this."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed the formation of a higher committee to oversee the Year of Reading Initiative. Such higher committee  shall include government officials from Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Ministry of Education and others, as well as the most prominent national figures who oversee national cultural and knowledge events aimed at spreading the culture of reading in the country and the prizes in respect of Arabic language or identification of writers, in addition to representatives of the associations  concerned with writers, authors and publishers such as the Emirates Writers Union and others, under the chairmanship of H.E Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs

The committee will develop an integrated strategic plan and a comprehensive national framework to encourage reading and bring about community behavioral change to spread the culture of reading in all facilities, fields and categories.

The committee will also coordinate all efforts and launch initiatives to establish the UAE as a capital of content and knowledge in the region and implement the directives of H.H President of the UAE by graduating a generation of knowledgeable readers who can lead a knowledge-based development in the country.

 Response of Committee

In response to the directives of H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources ("FAHR") has taken several practical steps to enrich knowledge and encourage its employees to read and to benefit from various sources of knowledge and science, whether soft or hard, express or implied. Therefore, FAHR formed a knowledge management team, established a paper library, launched another electronic library, launched the Reading Club Initiative and introduced new chapters in its monthly magazine entitled (Human Resources), urging reading, under various headings  such as the "spirit food" angle.

FAHR has also prepared strategic plans that would normally revive the habit of reading as a benign route for all of its employees, encourage them to acquire knowledge, and learn the latest global developments and innovations, especially in the fields of human resources and the development & improvement of human capital.