HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and HE Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), have launched the Knowledge Chair initiative at RTA’s Customer Service Center, Umm Al Romool, and the Public Transport Library at the Emirates Metro Station.
Events took place as part of the 2nd edition of the Read More initiative staged by RTA in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, as endorsed by the Council of Ministers chaired by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, designating 2016 as The Year of Reading. This initiative fits with the Arabic Reading Challenge launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage the youth across the Arabic world to read more; engaging more than one million students to read more than 50 million books during their academic year.
Al Tayer and Bin Huwaireb inspected the Knowledge Chair; a mini library comprising an array of superb recent publications in several fields such as management, innovation, child stories, and novels. Books are placed in circular shelves with a chair placed in the center. RTA is the first government entity to own five knowledge chairs in collaboration with the MBRF. Chairs will be distributed at three locations; two chairs at Rashidiya and Abu Hail Bus Stations, two chairs at customers’ service centers at Umm Al Romool and Al Barsha, and one chair at the premises of Public Transport Agency, Muhaisna.
Al Tayer and Bin Huwaireb were briefed by Ms. Moaza Al Marri, Director of RTA Marketing & Corporate Communication, on the Knowledge Chair, which had been designed and manufactured such that it can be shifted to several locations in order to broaden the benefit of the initiative in encourage people to read more. They were also shown a rare volume of poetic collections of the famous Arab poet Al Mutanabbi traced back to the eleventh Hijri century. It is a golden copy with fine floral decorations written in the Al Naskh calligraphy.
Al Tayer and Bin Huwaireb then inspected the Public Transport Library at Emirates Dubai Metro Station; one of two libraries provided by the RTA (the other will be at the First Gulf Bank Metro Station). It comprises books in Arabic & English where metro riders can borrow books and return them at any metro station for others to read. A barcode will be posted at the metro carriages to encourage metro riders to read in transit using their smart phones. The Public Transport Library enables metro riders to engage in supporting the library with books placed in a special box beside the library, and a team will attend to distributing them. The first batch of books contains short stories, simplified classical stories to make them accessible for everyone to take and read a book in one day.
“The second edition of Read More initiative comprises five mini initiatives; two are undertaken in cooperation with the MBRF, one is Public Transport Library, and the second is Knowledge Chair. The third focuses on supporting school & public libraries at Hatta with books in administrative fields, self-improvement, and short stories among others in cooperation with the Knowledge Section, RTA Development and Corporate Development Department. The fourth initiative comprises a host of audio stories and coordination is in hand with a number of prominent media personnel to record stories in a variety of languages (Arab, English, Urdu, and Malayalam) to be posted in social media channels. The RTA will donate the audio copies to the Emirates Association for the Blind in support of this segment. The fifth initiative is a short story writing contest to encourage students in schools and universities to write short awareness stories the contents of which are being specified in collaboration with RTA Traffic Department. The winning stories will be selected and published in RTA’s Salama magazine where winners will get valuable prizes,” stated Moaza.
Fostering Future Generation
Al Tayer was thrilled with the initiatives under the second edition of Read More saying: “Through its social responsibility, the RTA is keen to promote the culture of reading amongst community members in general and students in particular in order to further and broaden their intellectual perception and fill their free time with useful activities.
“The RTA opted to focus on school and varsity students as they are tomorrow’s generation and we are keen to start sensitizing children, who are still shaping their talents & cultural aptitudes, with environmental sustainability issues, and public transport. This will enable us foster an educated generation capable of influencing its community. We also aim at nurturing a new pattern of unusual habits such as reading, scientific innovation, forging new partnerships and cooperating with all bodies for a better future,” added Al Tayer.
“The Knowledge Chair initiative launched by the MBRF in cooperation with the RTA in Dubai is in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to offer seamless support to reading & knowledge. It also echoes the objectives of the MBRF aimed at diffusing knowledge and nurturing generations capable of owning and applying knowledge for the benefit of communities,” said Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the MBRF.
“The initiative aims at embedding the culture of knowledge amongst all community segments and effectively contributing to nurturing a generation educated in all fields, rendering reading a key daily life activity. The initiative also supports the idea of reading in public places and the optimal use of the transit time,” he further added.