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Her Highness Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi launches second phase of ‘Read, Dream, Create’ initiative


Daughter of the Ruler of Sharjah promotes campaign to encourage children to read

January 30, 2014 2:04 by

A new initiative to encourage children to read books has been unveiled by Her Highness Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, daughter of the Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan III bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. Her Highness is the patron for the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and launched a new campaign, ‘Read, Dream, Create’, aiming to build young people’s reading and writing skills, as well as foster innovation and creativity through children’s stories.

The campaign is the second of three phases, the first phase being the launch of the website,, at the Sharjah Book Fair held in November 6 to November 17, 2013. The second phase launched at Sharjah Humanitarian City of Services (SHCS), a not-for-profit organisation set up to help Arab families and develop social services.

This phase of the initiative will run until February 3 and will include visits by volunteers to schools throughout the UAE, the launch of a writing contest and the establishment of training workshops for librarians throughout the country.

For the first event, Her Highness Al Qasimi read from The Black Book of Colors, by Manena Cottin and Rosana Faria, to a group of visually and hearing-impaired children, while being assisted by a sign language interpreter.

The book, which is translated by Fatima Sharafeddine, is an innovative piece, specifically designed for visually impaired children. Printed entirely on black paper, it features text in Braille and is illustrated with embossed images, rather than colors. It also contains regular printed text to allow both sighted and visually impaired children to enjoy the experience of reading.

“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 it also lets children who are sighted get an idea of how different, yet wonderful, the world is, when experienced through your other senses,” says Her Highness. “It is this pleasure that we want to introduce to all children in Sharjah and the UAE, whether they are sighted or not.”

The director-general of the SCHS, Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, explains that humanitarian issues and the Federal Law No. 29, concerning the right of the people with special needs and its ratification by the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, demonstrates the complete participation of disabled people in all cultural and socio-economic activities on an equal footing with their able counterparts. With Sharjah being the cultural hub of the UAE, it continues to promote awareness around the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in all cultural activities and events.

The third phase of the initiative starts in April, and will include a range of reading sessions and workshops.


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