Happy Month of Reading 2021!
Did you know that March is the Month of Reading in the UAE? It is a programme developed to foster a culture of reading with the aim of creating a knowledge economy.
It all started with the announcement of the first annual Arab Reading Challenge in 2015. Then 2016 was declared the Year of Reading in the UAE, in order to nurture a generation of readers. When the challenge concluded in 2016, 3.59 million participants from across the world had collectively read 150 million books to compete for total prize money of AED 11 million!
And that was it, the wheels had been set in motion. March was declared Month of Reading in 2017 which was marked by nation-wide event and activities organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth in collaboration with several UAE public and private institutions.
This year, the theme is #MyFamilyReads and focuses on strengthening the role of parents as caregivers and role models that support and encourage reading. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced this year's Month of Reading with an Instagram video saying, "Reading is nourishment for the soul and mind. The first word revealed in the Holy Quran was 'read'. History teaches us that civilisations rise and nations prosper through knowledge. For me, when a day passes without learning anything new, I consider it a wasted day of my life".
Here, at the Emirates Literature Foundation, we will be celebrating the Month of Reading by honouring the winners of our student competitions: Oxford University Press Story Writing; Emirates NBD Poetry For All; Chevron Readers’ Cup, and the Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition. What bookish plans do you have for the for the Month of Reading? If you don’t have any yet, perhaps these book recommendations could inspire you?