Year of Reading to benefit economy: paper

ABU DHABI, 7th December, 2015 (WAM) — A UAE paper has said that reading opens minds. Knowledge is enlightenment. Books open windows to new worlds.

“Children must read – it is their parents’ responsibility to instill this invaluable habit in them. Reading will make children question, investigate, research and give them a future. Parents who do not encourage their children to read are doing them a disservice which amounts to neglect. A child whose foundation is based on reading and knowledge will grow up to be an adult who will contribute to a vibrant and open-minded society,” said Gulf News in an editorial today.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2016 as the Year of Reading in the UAE. Sheikh Khalifa said in a statement that reading is a basic skill for a new generation of scientists, intellectuals and researchers. He stressed that reading promotes tolerance, openness and inter-cultural communication. The foundation of a knowledge-based economy is made of science and innovation. Therefore, a generation of readers must be nurtured who are aware of developments around them.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, shared Sheikh Khalifa’s words. Sheikh Mohammed said a society of readers is an advanced society, open-minded to the surrounding world.

Ignorance creates a cocoon of narrow-mindedness that in turn leads to arrogance – a cancer that can sow the seeds of trouble in any society. And we are seeing that in the world today – the destruction that ignorance can cause because there is no enlightenment and erudition. Reading and knowledge is the cure to this malady.

The habit of reading has to be introduced at home. Children must be introduced to the classics; they must be encouraged to read literature and history; science and technology. A generation that grows up with knowledge as its foundation will responsibly serve society and the nation.

“The UAE has led the way in terms of innovation and development. The march to progress in the past 44 years has been astonishing and remarkable. The leadership is stressing that reading is wealth – the UAE shall become a beacon of knowledge,” concluded the daily.