Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had recently taken part in the children’s television show Sesame Street and read out a story to kids. The minister said he participated following an invitation from Minister of State for Happiness Ohood bint Khalfan Al-Roumi. This is part of the Gulf countries’ political plan to encourage reading.
There is also a video in which Saudi King Salman talks about getting children accustomed to reading. King Salman used to give each one of his children a book and gave them one week to read and understand. After reading the book, they must explain to others what it’s about. King Salman’s library is one of the biggest libraries in the world.
It’s through reading that one can overcome scientific and practical problems. Reading allows one to invest in himself. It nurtures, refines and trains one’s character. Nations that have excelled are ones that have taught their children how to read at an early age. Many western and Asian countries are examples of this. Reading did not die with the emergence of tablets or due to the digital revolution. Paper books are still a friend to kids and adults.
This article was first published in Okaz.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.