23 November 2008

Emaar Chairman supports Dubai Cares Million Book Challenge as ‘Mystery Reader’

Emaar Properties Chairman Mohamed Alabbar urged children to devote more time to read meaningful stories that inspire creativity and independent thinking. He was reading stories to students at the Al Khulood Kindergarten, where he was a ‘Dubai Cares’ Mystery Reader in support of the recently launched Million Book Challenge to encourage students across the UAE to read one million books in two weeks. The campaign ended on November 16, 2008 and Dubai Cares asked all parents to submit the final tally of books read by their children to the school by November 17.

Alabbar was accompanied by the children’s television character ‘Bob the Builder’, who was provided to Dubai Cares by Global Village. The students at Al Khulood have, to date, read over 1,000 books, averaging 11 books per child. Alabbar joins a group of prominent members of the community supporting the Dubai Cares initiative by visiting schools throughout the country to read a book.

Alabbar said: “Reading opens up one’s mind and enables us to think creatively. The Million Book Challenge by Dubai Cares is a powerful initiative that will bring long-lasting benefits as it instills in children - during their formative years - the importance of reading. In our knowledge-driven era, it is crucial to focus the attention of children on traditional avenues of knowledge like reading, which assures the active engagement of the mind.”

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said: “The success of the Million Book Challenge has been possible because of the hard work and effort of students and children throughout the community and because of the involvement of role models such as Mr. Alabbar, who helped Dubai Cares drive this initiative forward.”

The Million Book Challenge invites all students aged 3-14 years to collectively read one million books in two weeks. For each book read, Dubai Cares will purchase and donate a book in the local language to needy children around the world. The distribution of books will be managed by organizations, including Arab NGO’s throughout the region.

Stacked atop one another, one million books is, conservatively, four kilometres high, which is five times the height of Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. Each evening, Dubai Cares beams the total number of books read on Burj Dubai, which is being used as a visual thermometer, to mark the campaign’s progress towards its goal.

Residents and visitors in the UAE can also contribute to strengthening literacy around the world by sponsoring a book for AED10 each by calling 800 DXB CARES or at participating bookstores.

Considered the largest charitable establishment solely devoted to improving primary education globally, Dubai Cares is actively addressing the educational needs of more than four million children worldwide through partnerships with international aid agencies.

For more information on this year’s volunteer campaign, please visit www.dubaicares.ae.

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