The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) in cooperation with the UAE Red Crescent Authority will distribute 100,000 books in public libraries in the Republic of Yemen and several refugee camps in Arab countries, managing director of MBRF announced on Wednesday.
The initiative, under the ‘Reading Nation’ campaign launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will benefit around 400,000 children across the Arab region “to help spread knowledge and support them in building their future.”
MBRF managing-director Jamal bin Huwaireb said the foundation will begin the first phase of the campaign in the Republic of Yemen, where 1,000 books will be distributed in each library. MBRF will also distribute Arabic books in various refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.
“The initiative will enhance the status of the UAE on the international map as a centre for culture and knowledge, and highlight its effective role in the Republic of Yemen at various levels,” he added.
Fahad Saeed Al Menhali, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to the UAE, said: “The initiative launched by MBRF to distribute 100,000 books in several countries represents the UAE’s keen interest to provide humanitarian support in all fields, including the field of knowledge, a policy that has been outlined by Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan since the establishment of the UAE Federation.”
Al Menhali noted that the low level of education has led to the emergence of extremism in Yemen as well as several other countries. “Knowledge is the key to check the spread of such an environment in the region,” he underscored.
“The UAE has always played a leading role in humanitarian activities and contributed to building a knowledge society through a variety of initiatives in this area. The selection of Yemen as the first country to distribute 1,000 books in each library holds considerable significance for (us), where thousands of students are deprived of education as a result of the war situation in the country,” added Al Menhali.
“The initiative is a major leap in the concept of relief work as it offers support in knowledge development,” said Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarouni, director of Red Crescent Authority in Dubai.
The total cost of the 100,000 books is around Dh3.5m according to MBRF.