Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) Patron, launched the inaugural reading session of the UAEBBY’s new campaign – Read, Dream, Create. A groundbreaking initiative in the region, the campaign aims to encourage interaction between the young and books, and build their capacity in reading, writing, innovation, and creativity through children’s stories.
Being implemented in three phases, the campaign’s first phase saw the launch of the website www.readdreamcreate.ae during the Sharjah International Book Fair last year. Kicking off the second phase of the campaign at Sharjah Humanitarian City of Services, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, assisted by a sign language interpreter, read from ‘The Black Book of Colors’ by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria, to a group of visually and hearing impaired children.
Translated by Fatima Sharafeddine and published by the award-winning Kalimat Publishing House, this innovative book was specifically written and designed for visually impaired children. The book, which is printed entirely on black paper, features text in brail and is illustrated with images using embossed lines rather than colours, while also containing regular text printed in white to allow both sighted and visually impaired children to enjoy the experience of reading together.
Commenting on the campaign and the choice of the book for the first session, Sheikha Bodour, said, “The ability to read and enjoy a story, to become lost between the pages of a book is arguably one of life’s greatest pleasures. And it is this pleasure that we want to introduce all of the children of Sharjah and the UAE to, whether they are sighted or not. It is sometimes easy to forget just how much our perception of the world around us – as sighted individuals – depends on what we can see, and just how different that perception would be if we didn’t have our sight. The wonderful thing about ‘The Black Book of Colors’ is that it not only gives children who are visually impaired a chance to experience something that they have almost no other way to access, but also that it lets children who are sighted get an idea of how different, yet still wonderful the world is when experience only through your other senses.”
Speaking on the occasion, HE Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, extended heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron, for launching the second phase of the Read, Dream, Create campaign at the SCHS, after the campaign was initially launched by the UAEBBY in November. She also remarked that the selection of the SCHS was profoundly significant, hailing the campaign, which targets children with a range of abilities, including children with disabilities and particularly those with hearing and visual impairments.
The Director General of the SCHS said: “Selecting the SCHS to be the venue for the launch of the second phase of the campaign is clear evidence of the continually growing weight and importance that humanitarian issues are given in the UAE on all levels, including in the ethical and legal and humanitarian basis, as was apparent with the UAE’s issuance of Federal Law 29 concerning the Right of the People with Special Needs and its ratification of the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities.”
She clarified that the two regulations provides for complete participation of disabled persons in all cultural and socio-economic activities on an equal footing with their able counterparts. She added, “The UAEBBY ‘s move in this direction is commendable and praiseworthy, as the Board gives access to all children to take part in cultural activities, a move that we hope we are able to continue with as we develop to cover all aspect of the lives of those with disabilities in order to ensure better future for them.”
The second phase, which is currently ongoing and will run until February 3, includes the several activities in early January, including visits by volunteers to schools throughout the Emirates, the launch of a writing contest, and the establishment of training workshops for librarians in different regions in the UAE. The third phase will begin in April and will include a range of reading sessions and workshops.
For more information please contact:
Yousef Al Taweel
Mob: +97150 556 25 20
Mob: +97150 538 39 73