DUBAI, -- Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Monday praised Emirati individuals and entities that have contributed to encouraging reading in the UAE following the announcement of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan that 2016 is the 'Year of Reading'.
The Year of Reading has seen many creative initiatives from public, federal and local entities and the private sector that have enriched the cultural scene in the country.
Sheikh Mohammed today honoured 45 Emirati individuals and entities who made significant contributions to the 'Year of Reading at the 'UAE Pioneers Award 2016' ceremony.
Under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed, reading is the theme of this year's Award. The Award ceremony was held in Abu Dhabi to coincide with the UAE's 45th National Day celebrations.
"Today we honoured pioneers and supporters of culture and reading in the UAE. We are proud of their contributions that have helped develop a new generation of readers and intellectuals, and we look forward to what they will offer to support the future of the UAE and its sustainable development," His Highness said.
"Their contributions will help enhance our country's growth as a global knowledge and cultural centre," Sheikh Mohammed said. "We have honoured 132 personalities and entities to date, and each year, we will honour new pioneers in various fields. We will celebrate their contributions and learn from their experiences. They are role models for our children," His Highness added.
At the ceremony, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid received a book 'My Beautiful Farm' from Hafsa Sorour, a 16 year-old UAE writer, who is considered the youngest Emirati writer.
The gesture reflects His Highness' keen interest in the development of UAE youth, and his continuous support to help them develop their creativity from an early age. Sheikh Mohammed wished Hafsa Sorour and all creatively talented individuals in the country the very best.
The award ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the UAE Year of Reading, several ministers, dignitaries and families of the award winners.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed launched the 'UAE Smart Library', an initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in the presence of Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
The 'UAE Smart Library' is a dedicated online library for employees of ministries and federal agencies.
Sheikh Mohammed also launched a book on 'UAE Pioneers 2015', which features 44 personalities who were honored at the second edition of the Award last year. The book features success stories of the award winners.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed honoured six personalities who were pioneers in supporting literature and culture in the country, and made key contributions to the Year of Reading. They included: - Abdulhamid Ahmed: first Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union - Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary General of the Arab Writers Union and Chairman of the Board of the Emirates Writers Union - The late Sultan Al Owais, the first to launch a literature award, the Al Owais Award - Dubai Public Library, the first modern public library - Hafsa Sorour, the youngest UAE writer - Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the first book fair in the UAE Other honorees included individuals from federal and local governments, the private sector, schools and universities who undertook unique initiatives to encourage reading and enhance its role in society. These honorees included: - Maitha Hazeem Al-Musafiri: best individual who encouraged reading - Minister of Interior: best federal entity to encourage reading - Al Salama High School in Umm Al Quwain: best public school to encourage reading - Ayoub Yousef; best social media personality to encourage reading - Sharjah TV: best media content that supported reading - Fujairah Natural Resource Corporation: best local entity to encourage reading in Fujairah - United Arab Emirates University: best university library to encourage reading - Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi - Etisalat: best private sector initiative to encourage reading among children - Sama Dubai: best TV channel to encourage reading - Abu Dhabi Education Council: best local initiative to encourage reading in Abu Dhabi - Asmaa Al Moutawa: best personal initiative to encourage reading, Literature meeting salon - Dubai Electricity and Water Authority: best local social responsibility initiative to encourage reading - Culture without border project: best local initiative to encourage reading in Sharjah - Ras Al Khaimah Department Of Economic Development: best local entity to encourage reading in Ras Al Khaimah - Ministry of Education: best federal initiative to encourage reading among students - Al Khaleej newspaper: best ad campaign to promote the Year of Reading - Emirates/ Google: best private sector initiative to encourage reading - Telecommunications Regulatory Authority: best federal entity to encourage reading among employees - The School of Research Science: best private school to encourage reading - Abu Dhabi TV: best TV programme to encourage reading - "Abu Dhabi Reads" show The UAE Board on Books for Young People - Kalima Project: best company to support the publishing of children's books - Sheikha Ahmed Mohammed Abdulrahman: best teacher to encourage reading - Emarat Alyoum: best newspaper to encourage reading among children - Sharjah International Book Fair: largest book fair in the Arab World - Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development: best federal initiative to encourage reading - Australian International School, Sharjah: best school library to encourage reading - Ali Abu Al Rish - Emirates Literature Foundation: best not-for-profit organisation to encourage reading - Archaeology and Heritage in Umm Al Quwain: best local entity to encourage reading in Umm Al Quwain - Al Ittihad newspaper: best newspaper to provide logistical support for the Year of Reading - Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai: best local entity to encourage reading in Dubai - Dr. Hamad Al Hamadi - Ministry of Health and Prevention: best federal initiative to encourage reading among children at an early age - Al Bayan newspaper: best media coverage to promote reading - Zayed University: best university initiative to encourage reading - Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency: best local entity to encourage reading in Ajman - Safia Al Shahi: best media personality to encourage reading
Source: Emirates News Agency