His Excellency Abdul Aziz Taryam, Chief Executive Officer, Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat Northern Emirates, presented Wishah Primary School in Al Dhaid area in the emirate of Sharjah books which received the Etisalat Award. Etisalat’s objective from this initiative reflects the vision of President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declaring 2016 as the Year of Reading in the UAE. The aim of distributing books is to foster the love for reading in children and young people.
Under this initiative Etisalat will distribute books that have previously won the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature to various public schools across the UAE and this is also in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah to encourage more people to read in Sharjah and the UAE.
Abdul Aziz Taryam said, “Etisalat has sponsored the Arabic Children’s Literature award since 2009 to promote literature, education and to highlight the importance of reading and the role it plays in advancing societies by fighting ignorance and superstition. We believe that the more books we provide, the more likelihood there is that children will read. This award has become one of the most prominent cultural and intellectual platforms in the field of children’s literature.”
He added, “After seven years of sponsoring the award in partnership with UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), we are now moving on to the next phase of our collaboration and distributing books that have won the Etisalat Award to public schools. We hope that access to these books will benefit students and help them develop their intellectual abilities and create another world filled with fun and excitement for them.”
Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY Executive Board said, “UAEBBY has been organising the Etisalat award under the directives of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of UAEBBY and it has become one of the most prestigious award in the region and also encouraged publishers, authors and illustrators to produce quality work. The award has developed children’s literature and brought about positive cultural and social change in the Arab World. But most importantly it has helped spread the love of reading among children.”
The UAEBBY has handed over 30 packs containing books that won the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature to the Emirates Heritage Club’s management. Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY Executive Board explained that the plan to distribute the Etisalat Award winning books began with schools whose students already participated in the “Arab Reading Challenge” launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai via the Emirates Heritage Club.
Al Aqroubi invited schools and culture centers to contact them for these award winning books. She said, “We invite schools, and culture and youth centres who interact with children and young adults to contact us so that we can distribute the Etisalat-award-winning books to them.”
Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature was launched in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Founder and Patron. The award includes Best Children’s Book of the Year, Best Young Adult Book of the Year, Best Text, Best Illustration and Best Production and is worth one million Dirhams (AED 1,000,000).
UAEBBY is the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It was launched in 2010 as an initiative of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Mohammad al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary President of UAEBBY. It aims to promote publishing and distributing high quality children's books in the Arabic language all over the UAE. It also aims to provide professional and amateur authors and illustrators, as well as publishing houses based inside UAE with opportunities to communicate, exchange experiences and develop educational capabilities. The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is the main Board which is based in Switzerland and founded in 1953. It is an international network of institutions and individuals, from all over the world, who are commitment to promoting and encouraging the culture of reading and instil the love of books in every child.