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Stemming from its cultural responsibility to build generations on knowledge, science and culture, and make them an integral part of society in the future, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is cooperating with the young Emirati writer Dubai Abulhoul to donate a set of her children stories to Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital (Al Jalila Hospital) to promote cultural awareness among sick children, ensure their happiness, and support them during their treatment.
The Authority and Dubai Abulhoul have agreed to gift a set of five stories for children she wrote to the hospital, where Abulhoul will present copies of her collection of stories, which include ‘Umm Al Subyan,’ ‘Qoum Al Dasis’, ‘KhatafRafai’,’ ‘Bu Al Salasil,’ and ‘Umm Al Haylan.’ The Emirati novelist will also organise reading sessions starting from the end of June during which she will read these stories to sick children with the aim of supporting their love of books and urging them to read.
Commenting on this initiative, HalaBadri, Director General of Dubai Culture, said: “Reading is one of the therapeutic methods that complement drug therapy due to its effect on enhancing the mental health of patients, especially children. Based on this, we aim with this initiative to create a seamless educational environment that would make young patients at Al Jalila Hospital happy and help them recover quickly, while simultaneously enhancing their love for books and bring them closer to stories and literature that match their knowledge and imagination.”
Badri added: “This step also falls within our efforts to support and encourage young local talents, highlight their creativity, and provide them with the opportunity to actively participate in the cultural scene. It is also in line with our sectoral strategic priority to make culture everywhere and for everyone as well as support the cultural movement in the emirate.”
Abulhoul commented: “The stories I present to our children at Al Jalila Hospital stem from popular Emirati cultural heritage and help spread positivity and strengthen social and national belonging. In addition, the stories are presented in ways that suit the current era and meet the interests of children, enabling them to understand their contents and the values they present. The reading sessions will contribute to paving the way for the children to love books and will excite them and motivate them to continue reading as well as will help them in their journey of recovery.”
Dr Mohammed Al-Awadhi, COO of Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, said: “We firmly believe that all children are entitled to a happy and normal childhood, regardless of their medical condition; reading and continued learning are crucial elements of children development and mental well-being. We are grateful to our partners at Dubai Culture, and these books are a great addition that allow the children to focus their minds elsewhere while we take care of them.”
Dubai Abulhoul is an Emirati author and Rhodes Scholar. She recently published a series of children’s books, aiming to introduce key figures of Emirati folklore to younger generations. She was named ‘Young Arab of the Year’ at the first Young Arab Awards for her work in culture, literature, and gender equality. She graduated from the University of Oxford (master’s degree in diplomacy &global governance), and from New York University Abu Dhabi (bachelor’s degree in political science &literature).