Thursday 17, December 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: As part of its activities to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day and to strengthen its role in promoting the Arabic language, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education launched today a short story competition for school students and teachers.

World Arabic Language Day, also known as the United Nations Arabic Language Day is observed annually on December 18. To celebrate the day, MBRF has launched the third edition of its ‘Bil-Arabi’ initiative aimed at increasing the use of the Arabic language across the digital and social media platforms, in addition to raising awareness on the aesthetics of the Arabic language and its heritage.

Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Hussein Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said: “The vision of the UAE leadership to promote the Arabic language is reflected in the initiatives and competitions launched at the local and regional levels to enhance the status of Arabic language in the hearts of our students and preserve our cultural identity.”

HE Hussein Al Hammadi commended the cooperation effort between the Ministry of Education and MBRF, and said the positive partnership will achieve its valued objectives to benefit the students.

He added: “We have a responsibility to promote the Arabic language, and this is no longer limited to the Ministry of Education alone. We require the cooperation of all institutions and individuals to enhance the relationship between students and their native language, and raise awareness about the importance of Arabic in preserving cultural and intellectual heritage.”

On the occasion, HE Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, said: “This initiative comes in line with the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declaring 2016 as the Year of Reading to create a generation of book lovers, and consolidate the UAE’s position as a global capital for culture and knowledge. The initiative also embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Foundation, to launch events and programmes to raise awareness about the important role of Arabic language in the knowledge and cultural arena, and enhance the expertise of young talents in the language.”

HE Bin Huwaireb also said: “We thank the Ministry of Education for their cooperation and support for this initiative, which will enrich the literary scene, and help disseminate cultural values ​​among members of the society. The initiative will encourage the culture of creativity and contribute to comprehensive community development, and allow school students and teachers to interact in Arabic language to strengthen its position in the contemporary cultural scene.”

On the occasion, HE Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, Deputy Minister of Education, called for quality support services to establish the culture of reading in the new generation in line with the directives of the leadership to enhance the status of Arabic language in the hearts of young people. HE Al Hammadi said the Ministry of Education will take all the necessary steps to ensure the success of the initiative launched in cooperation with MBRF.

For his part, HE Marwan Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary for Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Education, praised the Ministry’s constructive cooperation with MBRF, and said the launch of this initiative is an important step towards enabling students to develop their writing skills and add value to the UAE society. HE Al Sawaleh said the Ministry of Education is keen to introduce several initiatives under the guidance of Hussein Al Hammadi, UAE Education Minister, to revive the status of Arabic language.

The short story initiative targets talented students and teachers in the UAE schools. MBRF will set an evaluation methodology for the competition developed by specialised committees chosen by Foundation and the Ministry of Education. Prizes will be offered for ten winners in each emirate, seven for students and three for teachers.

MBRF will also organise training workshops led by qualified trainers for the talented students and teachers to enable them to enhance their writing skills. Besides, the Foundation will publish the works of the winners and provide them the support to carry on with their writing. It will also nominate them for the Dubai International Writing Program, one of the Foundation’s initiatives aimed at supporting young talented writers.

The Ministry of Education will announce the competition in UAE schools, highlighting the importance of short story writing to encourage students and teachers to participate in the competition. The starting date for the competition will be announced soon by MBRF and the Ministry of Education.