As part of its efforts to instill a love of reading in younger generations, and to make reading a part of the national identity, Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) organised a reading session attended by AlDhabi Al Mheiri, the youngest Emirati publisher and entrepreneur, as part of the iRead initiative. The session was held in conjunction with UAE Reading Month and Emirati Children's Day, and aims to support developing school children's knowledge and reading skills, given the great role these skills play in human development and improvement of children's mental capacity.
Organised at the college’s library and learning support hub, and in line with the National Strategy for Reading, the session attracted students of different age groups from different schools in Abu Dhabi, who listened to the guest as she read some of her stories and talked about how she started writing. This provided students with an interactive space that motivated them to develop their reading and writing habits.
During the session, the students learned more about AlDhabi Al Mheiri, who is the youngest Emirati publisher and entrepreneur at the age of 8. She started her project Rainbow Chimney at the age of six and was awarded the title of the youngest Emirati publisher at the age of seven. She also won third place in the Pearl Quest competitions held at Expo 2020 Dubai at the Women's pavilion. She has set a Guinness World Record for the first time at the age of seven as the youngest female to publish a bilingual book, and is now a candidate for the title of the youngest female to publish a bilingual series of books.
ECAE has hosted various events and activities during UAE Month of Reading, attended by over 160 students from different schools in Abu Dhabi. Emirates College for Advanced Education also hosted a number of authors and creative content makers, including Talia Walid Ali, the youngest content creator in the Arab world, who delivered a lecture on reading to students, Ms. Samira Al Askari, Deputy Director of Academic Affairs at the college, who told some stories to the students and invited them to practice reading, and Ms. Noura Khoury, an Emirati writer, who took the students on a journey through tales and stories and reading.
Dr. May Al Taee, Vice Chancellor of ECAE, said: “Thanks to the wise leadership's firm support, reading represents a renewable and flexible value in the UAE and an essential element in our march towards the future. Therefore, the college organises reading-related activities to develop reading skills among school children, providing them with the opportunity to acquire reading skills within an interactive and competitive atmosphere to make reading an identity that reflects our culture and a tool for knowledge empowerment.
“We are trying to instill the love of reading in our students as a passion and way of life, and not just as a school assignment. By involving outstanding and inspiring models such as AlDhabi, we create a competitive environment for students, which will contribute to building a generation of readers. To achieve these goals, we must strengthen the role of family, school, and society to make reading a daily habit and a societal culture."
ECAE distributed the stories of the talented authors to the children participating in the reading session, allowing them to sign their work and highlight the benefits of reading, while motivating the students to become influential and talented authors in the future
Launched by ECAE last year, iRead initiative targets all those interested in reading, including students and teachers, with the aim of instilling a love of reading by participating in interactive activities to make students realize the joy and benefits of reading, leading to it becoming a passion, not an assignment.