As the UAE launches the reading nation campaign; it is time to address the true impact of reading within unstable and vulnerable societies.
In light of the new “Reading Nation” campaign being launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (@HHShkMohd), it provides a monumental opportunity for every one to reflect upon the importance and potential impact of education, reading, and the growth of knowledge for those who need it the most.
Acting as a positive example for other countries to follow, the UAE has demonstrated why donation and reading transcends mere political and charitable strategies. The deeper essence is about creating equal access to educational resources to those who suffer in unstable and in need regions and countries. It is about humans helping humans, because nobody deserves to live a life that is void of learning.
These ideas of education are embedded in our social psyche, as we believe in achieving human rights for all. This is also found in religions that encourage us to seek knowledge. Books are a crucial part of achieving the right to an education, as they facilitate people’s journey to enlightenment and help secure a prosperous future. Exposure to reading from a young age engages one’s mind, develops literacy and cognitive growth, which allows societies to be less vulnerable to terrorist recruitment and formation, and helps them in the process of building their country.
This educational equality becomes difficult to achieve with most of today’s critical challenges. Amongst the violence, warfare, instability, and poverty, it is often easy to overlook the root causes of why such unfortunate events take place in the first place. As a result, around 10,000 schools in the Arab world do not have student libraries. There are also millions of refugee children left without any educational programmes or schoolbooks such as in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, which creates a large knowledge gap. Let’s not forget about those living in remote parts of Southeast Asia and Africa, as well as numerous other villages and provinces within these regions that are stuck in a poverty cycle due to their lack of access to education.
These global challenges can be tackled from the root of the matter. Poverty, inequality and lack of basic education result in violent groups creating an environment in which people cannot live in freedom to enjoy those privileges. By targeting the social growth of children from birth and providing them with the educational resources, we can prevent the causes behind instability. By enlightening people with good beliefs, thoughts and education we can change their mindset.
A growing, civilized society relies on its accessibility to education, and materials such as books, and having teachers that nurture young minds and souls to learn and develop an ability to be innovative in differing fields. The power of the written and spoken word is much greater for the future than using weapons, and that is why campaigns is “Reading Nation” is very essential today.