The EBDA’ programme hosted Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People’s Executive Board, to share personal and professional experiences from her cultural career with the programme’s participants and to speak about her vision for the initiatives launched by the emirate of Sharjah in developing and supporting children’s books.
The meeting is part of EBDA’s ‘Lunch with Leader’ series during which participants meet with a head or a director of one of the cultural institutions, authorities and activities in the UAE to listen to their experience in leading their organisations, benefit from their expertise and exchange views with them about ways of developing local cultural works and highlight the latest initiatives and projects launched by their organisations.
At the beginning of the programme, which was organized in presence of Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Manager of EBDA programme, Marwa Al Aqroubi gave a presentation about the UAEBBY and its role in promoting a culture of reading among children and young adults in the UAE. She pointed out, “The UAEBBY achieves its goals through a number of initiatives which have been launched with the support of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and under the directives of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron, including the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, the ‘Read, Dream, Create’ initiative, the Sharjah-IBBY Fund, and ‘Books Made in UAE’.”
Al Aqroubi updated the attendees about the UAEBBY’s recently announced and approved projects, including the launch of the 6th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature. She also touched on the most important milestones in her professional career, saying: “Her interest in writing children’s books was due to a chance that changed her life forever. She was working as Business Development Manager at the Executive Office of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, who, once, gave her a task of explaining the content and meanings of local folklore songs for an author who was in a visit to the UAE. With encouragement from Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, and out of a personal challenge, Al Aqroubi wrote and published her first book titled ‘Ahmad El Helou’, which is a journey to discover the UAE’s folklore and traditions. Later, children’s literature became her first career.”
Ahmed Al Suwaidi praised the UAEBBY’s efforts and initiatives in promoting children’s literature, encouraging children to read, and stimulating the children’s book industry to develop their works. He said that hosting the UAEBBY’s president during the ‘Lunch with Leader’ initiative, launched by EBDA Programme, is part of the programme’s eagerness to host leaders of the cultural organizations in the UAE to train young leaders in cultural management skills and give them guidance on how to overcome challenges and achieve successes within the scheduled timeframe in line with the directives of Sharjah’s wise leadership and their support and attention to cultural activities. The programme aims, also, to highlight the leading cultural organisations in the emirate of Sharjah and the UAE and their rich achievements in the cultural field.
The EBDA’ programme aims to train young leaders and develop their leadership and management skills by providing training, practical experience, and participation in cultural activities. The programme, also, gives opportunity to have regular meetings with senior decision makers in cultural sectors in the emirate of Sharjah to gain better understanding about the cultural sector and more leadership experience in preparation to fill senior positions in various cultural institutions and initiatives in the Emirate in the future.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and Rashid Mohammed Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge without Borders (KWB) were, respectively, the special guests in the first and second meetings of the ‘Lunch with Leader’ series. They spoke about different aspects of their professional career and their leadership methods as well as the latest initiatives they are implementing to further enrich cultural life in Sharjah.
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Yousef Al Taweel