Four Dubai Metro stations will have public libraries as part of the Roads and Transport Authority's initiatives to cultivate the reading habit, it was announced on Monday.
The initiatives follow the Arab Reading Challenge recently launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The challenge aims at fostering the reading habit across the Arab world and envisages encouraging more than a million students read 50 million books during the current academic year.
RTA's initiative, know as Read More, comprises five mini steps, being conducted in collaboration with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
"The first of the five initiatives will see public libraries established in four Metro stations. A variety of books will be on display, and the Metro stations will be fitted with book bar codes to be scanned by smartphones to encourage riders to read during transit time,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.
In the second step, RTA will set up five ‘Knowledge Chairs' at three locations, one each at Ibn Battuta Mall and Mall of the Emirates, one each at Al Barsha and Deira customer service centres, and one more at the RTA Head Office.
"The Knowledge Chair is a circular chair surrounded by books and scientific references, which can be used by anyone. Our initiatives are aimed at nurturing the culture of reading among all and particularly among school and university students, broadening the scope of their knowledge and thinking, besides filling their free time with useful activities. After all, books are the best companion,” he added.
The third initiative offers support to school libraries and a government library at Hatta covering various administrative fields, self-improvement, and short stories, among others.
In an interesting step, the fourth initiative will see the creation of four audio stories for the visually impaired.
The audios will be made in coordination with a number of distinguished media members in various languages, including Arab, English, Urdu and Malayalam, which will then be posted on social media channels.
"The RTA will donate the audio copies to Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired,” said Al Tayer.
The fifth initiative is a short story contest aimed to encourage university and school students to write short stories, the topics of which will be selected in coordination with the RTA Traffic Department. The project will be announced on social media and the winning stories will be published in RTA's Salama magazine, and winners will walk away with attractive prizes.
Source: Gulf News