ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 28th Feb, 2021) The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the launch of various initiatives during March to celebrate the national Month of Reading.
The UAE celebrates reading in March every year through a range of literary activities and programmes to help build a society grounded in science and knowledge, contributing to the country’s position as a centre of content and culture.
The Month of Reading will see the announcement of 30 books by the Kalima Project for Translation and Esdarat, with a new book named daily throughout March, with the centre collaborating with literary salons to organise four virtual seminars that will introduce audiences to these titles. The virtual Arabic language programme "Ad-Dhad Language", will also be launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Department of education and Knowledge, and will consist of 10 virtual educational sessions.
The centre’s social media accounts will be updated with designs inspired by the Month of Reading and they will also present "Originally Fusha, Essentially Emirati", a series of daily videos that include eloquent Arabic words used in the Emirati dialect. The daily content during March will also include information and proverbs related to reading and writing.
Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said, "The Month of Reading is one of the country’s most important strategic initiatives, a directive from our leadership that aims to build a generation of future leaders armed with culture and knowledge, enabling them to further our development and preserve the cultural, intellectual and cognitive achievements of the UAE."
Mouza Al-Shamsi, acting Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said, "Reading is a cornerstone of discovery and learning, and opens windows through which the reader can explore worlds that combine knowledge with imagination. Through reading, we can shape a future generation of writers, thinkers, inventors and scientists. During the Month of Reading, we will present many stimulating programmes and events that support the efforts to inspire the community to start reading to build cultural bridges, and create a culture of knowledge in the UAE."
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will also organise two virtual seminars, hosting Richard van Leeuwen, Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Amsterdam and winner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Arabic Culture in Other Languages in 2020, and Dr. Assef Ashraf, Lecturer in Eastern Islamic Studies at the College of Asian and middle Eastern Studies, in collaboration with Cambridge University, during a virtual seminar on 4th March, entitled "The Impact of One Thousand and One Nights Stories on World Literature in the Twentieth Century".
This seminar will highlight the prominent status of "One Thousand and One Nights" stories, and their immense influence on European and international literature throughout the ages, especially prose literature during the 20th century. It will also shed light on authors whose works have greatly contributed to shaping the leading trends in literature in the past century, such as Modernism, magical realism and postmodernism. The panel will shed light on many topics and strategies in their narrative, literary, historical and political contexts, in addition to researching the prevailing belief that "One Thousand and One Nights" represents a fundamental example of the mechanisms of intertextuality and the development of what can be called "world literature".
In cooperation with Publishing Perspective magazine, a part of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is also organising a panel discussion in March titled "Presence of Arabic Content in Academic Publishing", with the participation of a group of publishers and authors from around the world. The session will tackle the under-representation of Arabic voices in academic publishing, how publishers can ensure that Arabic scholars are represented in their catalogues and how smaller academic publishers working in specialised areas (like Arabic studies) can make sure their content is more widely accessible.