ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Monday, May 2nd 2016 [ME NewsWire]
Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, visited on Monday the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, where he attended the launch of more than 50 books authored by Emirati students and teachers, as a part of the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative. His Highness Sheikh Saif also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program and the Emirates Writers Union, which aims to initiate the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative and encourage students’ creative work.
The MoU was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Al Marar, from H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Diwan, and Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary General of the Arab Writers' Union, and chairman of the Emirates Writers Union.
Sheikh Saif attended the signing of a number of books authored by Emirati students and teachers, which include a variety of novels, stories and literary publications that tackle national issues, as a part of the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative. This initiative is one of the numerous campaigns launched by the United Arab Emirates, in support of creativity and excellence, to prepare educated and knowledgeable youth, empowered through literature, so as to enhance the cultural, literary, artistic and educational movement in the country.
His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, offered to His Highness Sheikh Saif a copy of the literary publications penned by students and teachers. H.E Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, praised His Highness’s support of the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative, and presented him with a copy of her book titled "My Country, I love thee”. Emirati Poet Ali Bin Salem Al Kaabi offered a copy of his book "Saif of the Emirates" to His Highness, in recognition of his support to creative poets and writers.
H.H Sheikh Saif, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, honored the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative team, and praised the achievements made by distinguished students and teachers, which serve the community. He urged students to pursue their authoring, stressing that writing is a national responsibility, by which authors shed the light on national issues and enrich national institutions with valuable publications. His Highness honored Jamal Al Shehhi, the founder and director of Kuttab Publishing House, Secretary General of the Emirates Novel Award, for his cooperation in implementing the writing training program for students and teachers.
The MoU signing ceremony and launch of students and teachers’ books was attended by H.E Ahmed Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs; H.E Jamila bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education; and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group. Also attending were Advisor Rashid Salim Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretariat General of the Federal Demographic Council; Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, a number of officials and senior officers and students’ parents.
Following the signing ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Saif toured the exhibition, where he inspected the pavilions of national institutions, which display a number of Emirati intellectual and cultural works, notably the Sharjah International Book Fair’s pavilion, where he attended part of the literary debates taking place at the ‘Sea of Culture Foundation’ and Al Multaqa Literary Salon.
Sheikh Saif also visited Arab and international pavilions, notably the German pavilion, and the Italian pavilion, ‘Guest of Honor’ at this year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book fair. He also visited the digital publishing pavilion, where he listened to a detailed briefing from the publishers, about digital publishing, translation and the most prominent projects that serve young people and develop their performance. He also urged them to provide care and assistance to the young Emirati writers.
H.E Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, said that her book, "My Country, I love thee”, includes a variety of guidance themes, designed to improve the behavior of Emirati youth, within the family, at school or at the mall. The book also provides advice on the proper ways to deal with important life aspects, such as ways to maintain a good health, preserve the environment, how to organize time and allowance, how to maintain their possessions, how to cater to their own needs and purchases; in addition to ways to boost their culture and build their character.
This valuable publication aims to instill family bonding and social cohesion in students, so as to reinforce Arab and Islamic values and morals in the community, reinforce community partnership and boost good citizenship values. It will be distributed to the various state schools, in coordination with the Ministry of Education.
In his address on the occasion, Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, said that the initiative falls in line with the Higher Leadership’s directives, to promote literacy skills. “It is also part of the efforts to mark 2016 as the year of reading, and embodies the UAE’s directives aimed at reinforcing its international stature in the areas of creativity and innovation. It also comes in implementation of the strategy of Khalifa Student Empowerment Program ‘Aqdar’ aimed at unifying national awareness and preventive efforts related to the youth in various fields,” he said.
Major General Dr. Al Nuaimi also commended the results of the initiative, which allowed innovative students and teachers to author a number of literary works marks a significant stride towards achieving the coveted objectives of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, notably promoting the concepts of mutual institutional work between all ministries, local and federal entities, private institutions and civil society institutions, as well as all other parties involved with students.
Additionally, he pointed out that the Program constitute a main component in the education ecosystem of the UAE students to nurture and support an educated future generation, and to empower them to become active members of their society, within an interactive environment that encourages innovation and development.
For his part, Professor Habib Yousef Al Sayegh, Secretary General of the Arab Writers Union, expressed his heartfelt appreciation for Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior for his continuous support and follow-up. He said: “His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed’s presence and attendance of the MoU signing is testament to the great ambitions and aspirations it supports. We fully believe that the expertise of both parties, i.e ‘Aqdar’ and the ‘Emirates Writers Union’, their capabilities and firm belief in their important mission, will enable us to reach our coveted aspirations.”
Adding further, Al Sayegh said: “We, atthe Emirates Writers Union, believe in the importance of joint work, between key programs such as the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, and ambitious institutions such as ‘Aqdar’. The agreement that we signed in a bid to activate the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative is designed to empower the youth and support their innovations. This objective is at the top of our priorities and has been granted significant attention in all of our activities, events, and programs. Therefore, we expect that this new partnership will produce positive results.”
Colonel Dr. Ibrahim Al Dabal, General Coordinator of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, “Aqdar”, said: “The Khalifa Student Empowerment Program has adopted the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative, implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the Kuttab Publishing House. The initiative aims at encouraging creative students and teachers in various scientific, literary and other fields, in accordance with the ‘National Charter for Students’ Awareness’. This would create a valuable set of student-oriented books penned by students themselves, who are better positioned to understand students’ needs and the nature of the development they go through. These publications will be classified within an organized framework to establish a creative and awareness-raising library made by students and teachers themselves.”
Colonel Dr. Al Dabal continued: “The program operates based on its strategy to unify the existing national efforts implemented by Federal and local governmental authorities, as well as the efforts and initiatives of the private sector and the public good institutions. The program currently seeks to collect and compile these efforts and restructure them. This will facilitate deployment and marketing of these publications for the benefit of the widest number of students. It is also endeavoring to promote creativity and innovation by developing reading and writing skills, which are the key components to building a creative ecosystem according to the programs’ perception.”
Colonel Dr. Al Dabal also explained that the Program is taking part in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair for the second consecutive year, based on the directives of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the close follow-up of the Major General Dr. Al Nuaimi, who called for increasing participation at such cultural events, in a bid to highlight the program’s works and distributing them to students and visitors, to encourage them to interact with the 2016, Year of Reading in the UAE. In conclusion, Colonel Dr. Al Dabal explained that the joint committee formed by the Program and the Ministry of Education will buy approximately one million books from the various publishing houses, within the framework of “Aqdar” reading initiative, and in response to the directives of HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed.
For her part, Sharifa Moussa, Advisor at the Office of H.E Minister of Education, and Head of the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative team, said: “The ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative was launched last December, following the directives of the higher leadership in declaring 2016 as a Year of Reading, and under the patronage of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and H.E. Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education. This initiative aims to support male and female students who show creativity in all fields of writing, in order to promote literary and enrich the cultural scene with the intellectual fruits of distinguished Emirati students of different ages. It also aims to introduce students and teachers to leading figures of literature in the UAE and the region, as well as enhance the role of students and teachers in developing cultural and literary movements in the UAE.
The ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative opened new knowledge horizons for students and prepared them to fulfill a leadinf role in the literary arena. A significant number of students and teachers applied for the initiative, and exceeded all expectations. Applicants underwent interviews according to strict criteria in order to reach the finals, which included schools affiliated to the Ministry of Education.
Moussa also explained that participants attended training workshops in cooperation with Kuttab Publishing House, which featured participation of reputed writers and authors in the fields of novel, poetry, drama, essay, and short story. Participants received training on the basics of creative writing and literary writing techniques. They were also acquainted with the different writing genres and methods; writing techniques, and writing retreats. The workshops were based on the ‘National Charter for Students’ Awareness’ within the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program.
Adding further, she said: “Support has been provided to beginning writers after the writing retreat, under close follow-up from the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program and the Ministry of Education. Work teams have been formed to follow-up on their writing creations on social media, as well as to meet with them on a weekly basis. All of these efforts have yielded valuable results, with more than 50 books published and signed in today’s edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.”
The Head of the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative team announced that support for new writers will continue, with close follow-up in upcoming workshops. “New writers are the knights of writing and creativity, and supporters of the new knights,” she said.
For his part, Jamal Al Shehhi, founder and director of of the Kuttab Publishing House praised the cooperation with the ‘Aqdar’ Writing Initiative, which will leave a significant impact on the cultural landscape in the UAE, by adopting creative teachers and students, which are worthily entering the publishing and writing market.
He added that the publications presented by students and teachers are highly promising, not only on the national level, but also on the Arab world level. All of the writers have receiving intensified courses on writing and editing, under the supervision of a group of renowned writers, within the cooperation between the Kuttab Publishing House and “Aqdar” Initiative.
…. His Highness Witnesses the Signing of Children Books.
Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, today (Monday), witnessed the launch and signing of a distinguished collection of children books, at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The books are authored by Sheikh Zayed bin Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa, sons of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed; and Sheikh Zayed bin Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The first book, titled “In the Love of Zayed”, is penned by Sheikh Sheikh Zayed bin Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and dedicated to his young friends: “My second book is an idea. Our love to our country is the most beautiful idea. We will write for and about the country and its safety.” The book is based on the late Sheikh Zayed famous stance, and is determination to turn the desert into a lush green land, setting an example of determination and strength for generations.
The book titled “My Precious Country”, written by Sheikh Zayed bin Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sings the praises of the UAE and its achievement, and highlights the importance of taking pride in the country’s heritage and building upon it.
Sheikh Zayed bin Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s book titled “Qans Al Marzoum”is inspired by an important life experience, which is a touristic traditional trip
Sheikh Khalifa bin Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan joined the list of beginning young writers this year. His book titled “The Good Man” sheds the light on the principles of manhood, which children can learn to form an early awareness of Positive Patriotism.
Another book was authored by Sheikha Moza bint Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan titled “Healthy Lifestyle”. The book tackles the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, by focusing on healthy eating habits and exercising, within the boundaries of safety and security in society and feeling for others.
The new publications also included a book by Sheikha Moza bint Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, titled “Ahmed’s Garden.” The book is based on a realistic experience and children’s relation with pets. It highlights the importance of family communication, which leads to fulfilling children’s natural desires through dialog and the philosophy of rewarding achievements.
Dr. Ali Abdulqader Al Hammadi, writer and children literature critic, said that all the stories are based on realistic life experiences, and represent a new, exciting and deep-rooted experience for the writers. He said: “This should encourage parents to pay attention to their children’s experiences, and to encourage their writing skills, so as to communicate these experiences to others.
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