United Arab Emirates: Make the most of summer with some good books – News

Sign up for a summer reading camp, brush up on a book, or get cozy in a library – the country is full of opportunities that are grooming a generation of readers.

Published: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 8:39 PM

Often, we complain about the slowdown during the summer. Not if you love books, shall we say. Because summer is the time when many of us, children and adults, devote hours to reading. Yes, summer is the time to take a break and spend time with some good books. And the numbers prove that we are doing a good job.

Since its opening in June 2022, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library has attracted more than 40,000 visitors from different age groups and nationalities. During this period, they issued over 34,000 visitor tickets and their forward-thinking auto shop received approximately 1,000 requests to borrow books from members.

These figures suggest a lot, and when coupled with the multiple initiatives continuously launched by government authorities and various other institutes, they suggest that the country is reading. Here’s what you can do to make the most of summer.

The essential stopover, the library

“Driven by our firm belief in the importance of providing free access to library resources for all and supporting the advancement of the cultural scene in Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Library welcomes visitors from different interests, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities and age groups,” said Dr. Mohammed Salem Al Mazrouei, Board Member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library. Once inside, you can spend time in its various sections including the Periodical Library, Children’s Library, Young Adult Library, Emirates Library, General Library, Media Library and art, the business library and the library of maps and atlases.

The Children’s Library contains over 25,000 titles, including storybooks, reference books, encyclopedias, early learning books, and counseling books for preschoolers and first graders. In addition, the General Library, one of the largest departments, includes more than 29,000 titles with various subjects that cater to different interests, such as languages, history, geography, philosophy, health, sports , personal development and literature, including novels and short films. stories, available in Arabic and English.

A second-hand book fair for as little as Dh2 Last week, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) launched the first-ever Hatta second-hand book fair as part of the summer camp of the Dubai Public Library (DPL), which started on July 31 and will continue until August 28. As part of this year’s program, the summer camp (for children between 5 and 15 years old) includes various activities such as the painting and creativity workshop with the Emirati artist Aisha Alhamrani, the workshop Travel to through art which will take participants on a journey of discovering works of art, such as the Temple of Dendur and the Maman sculpture, among other great works of contemporary art.

The program also includes workshops where children will learn the art of writing; making and decorating rugs by weaving pieces of fabric; make a wooden table; flower arrangement; making candles, perfumes and soap; decorating cakes, etc. Meanwhile, the Hatta Used Book Fair offers 2,588 used books for adults and children, including Arabic novels, religious books and books on law, poetry, medicine, education , technology, finance, history, etc. ; at nominal prices between Dh2 and Dh10. The camp also organizes interactive reading sessions with writers Badriya Al Shamsi, Noura Khoury, Nadia Al Najjar, Wafa Al Shamsi and Afra Mahmoud.

A celebration of cultural diversity

As part of the ongoing 2022 Summer Camp: A Journey Around the World at House of Wisdom, Sharjah, young explorers (for ages 5-12) can learn about the cultures and geography of such diverse nations as the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Jordan, India, China and the Philippines. The distinctive educational experience celebrates cultural diversity and fosters an appreciation of unique traditions and practices from around the world.

Passports and boarding tickets in hand, participants can immerse themselves in the customs, language, gastronomy, geography, fauna and flora and landmarks of 16 chosen destinations. The Little Reader, a space dedicated to reading and learning for children here, aspires to ignite young minds with a dynamic mix of storytelling sessions, workshops and world travel excursions during the pause.

Read a book, travel to an exciting destination

Rewayat, an imprint of Kalimat Group that publishes translated and Arabic adult literature, is motivating readers to read a book during the holidays with the launch of Sayfak Rewaya, a summer reading campaign that will see six lucky book lovers travel in six exciting destinations. Organized in partnership with Emirates, the campaign offers participants the opportunity to review the books of six selected authors, whose titles are part of the Rewayat.

The campaign, which runs until mid-September, aims to encourage community members to use their time during the summer to read and learn. Entrants can submit a review for a selected title and post it on social media platforms as a video review of the chosen title. Six winners will each receive two tickets to travel to six countries based on their reviews of the titles which include Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Weep not Child, Adam Zagajewski Poetry, Burhan Sönmez’s Labyrinth, Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg, Orphic Paris by Henry Cole, and If Beale Street could talk about James Baldwin. The campaign is part of Sharjah and the UAE’s vision to foster a culture of reading among community members and expand their knowledge.

Colin L. Johnson