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‘Reading Nation’ Campaign to Provide 8.2 Million Books to Children | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, signs on the board during the official opening of the world’s first functional 3D printed offices in Dubai May 23, 2016. Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

Dubai-UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced that the “Reading Nation” campaign raised donations to provide more than 8.2 million books to underprivileged children, exceeding the 5 million-target set at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

“As we enter the last days of Ramadan, we have concluded the Reading Nation campaign. Our target was five million books and we reached 8.2 million,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“These eight million books will open gates of hope for students and children in need and refugees. It will make us a truly reading nation,” he said.

He also thanked all those who participated and contributed to the campaign.

“The UAE will always be a giving country,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

The annual Ramadan initiatives that Sheikh Mohammed launches “give much-needed hope for millions of needy people,” said Mohammed Al Gergawi, secretary general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.

“This year’s campaign complements the series of global development initiatives that are led by the UAE and focused on dealing with the root causes of poverty, ignorance and intolerance,” said Gergawi, who is also Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.

“The Reading Nation campaign came at a perfect time during the UAE Year of Reading and the holy month of Ramadan to help boost knowledge in Arab and Muslim countries,” he added.

Launched at the start of Ramadan, the campaign initially was aimed at providing five million books to children in refugee camps and schools.

The target was two million books for refugee children, two million for more than 2,000 school libraries around the world, and one million to support educational programs run by aid organizations.

Schoolchildren across the globe will receive 8.28 million books either through the cash donations or in the form of books. An auction for the campaign generated Dh41m in sales, enough to provide 4.1m books.