Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 October 2019

The majlis: Reading can help to build a country

Reading is a great tool for cultural and knowledge exchange; it opens a door to better understanding. Reading is one of the main pillars of the UAE’s progress and development.

What can we do to live a fuller life? For me, it all begins with awareness and cultivating a sense of gratitude – the tool that helps us build happiness and abundance.

I believe we’re here to break moulds and create new goals that will help us progress and accomplish our life’s purpose.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, has declared 2016 the Year of Reading to create a generation of book lovers, to consolidate the country’s position as a global centre for knowledge and culture, and to develop a national framework to ensure the creation of a new generation of readers.

This came shortly after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the Arab Reading Challenge, which aims to get children to read 50 Arabic books each.

Reading is a great tool for cultural and knowledge exchange; it opens a door to better understanding. Reading is one of the main pillars of the UAE’s progress and development.

It grants people the knowledge, experience and expertise that helps them to succeed in their careers, socially and in business. The first book a child reads opens a door to a brighter future, and the first word a child reads enables him to view the world.

Reading is one of the greatest hobbies because it brings a sense of enjoyment and fun to those who do it often, and it satisfies people’s curiosity; it’s fuel for the spirit and mind.

The author Napoleon Hill once stated that “more gold has been mined from the mind of men than from the Earth itself”.

Reading helps us analyse, synthesise and become critical thinkers. It also helps generate and brainstorm ideas that enable young people to become problem-solvers, decision-­makers and creatives. It’s a tool of learning, and learning doesn’t occur without reading and understanding what you’re reading.

Read books, listen to the news, and spend time with wise people. Whether it’s someone else’s idea or something you come up with yourself, put it in writing, and keep it somewhere to stimulate your thoughts.

It’s difficult in today’s world to be active and successful in international business, politics, scholarships or science without considerable competence in reading and high literacy skills. A weakness in reading comprehension can impede students’ learning abilities, and may have a negative effect on their future careers.

Reading isn’t only a means of learning but an important part of our identity. Our children and everyone around us needs to respond to all calls and initiatives to start the journey of reading – to create a new generation, a new hope and a prosperous country.

Saif Al Manei is a budding poet and writer.

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Updated: February 11, 2016 04:00 AM

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