Key UAE figures share their favourite reads in social media challenge

The popular digital challenge asks participants to share images of their top books for seven days

'My Story' by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini, 'Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China' by Jung Chang and 'After the Prophet' by Lesley Hazleton.
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Key figures from around the UAE have been giving an insight into the books that have helped to shape their lives.

The seven-day book challenge has been going viral on Twitter, with everyone from sheikhs to actors taking part.

The premise of the challenge is simple – participants have to share an image of one of their favourite books every day for seven days, each day tagging someone else to take part in the challenge.

Participants do not need to explain their choices, or give a review of any kind, just simply share a picture of the book’s cover while passing the challenge along to someone else.

Below, we've rounded up some of the people taking part in the challenge and the books they have been sharing. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed really helped kick the viral challenge off when he posted his choice on March 5. He was nominated by Abdulnasser Alshaali and then proceeded to pass on the book challenge to Emirati writer Yasser Hareb.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

Book: Leo the African by Amin Maalouf.

The novel depicts the life of historical Renaissance-era traveler Leo Africanus. Even though not a lot is known about his life, biographical hypothesis and historical speculations are used to tell his tale.

Noura Al Kaabi – Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

Book: After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton

This non-fiction works explores the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam, showing how events stemming back to the 7th century still shape the world today.

Shamma Suhail Al Mazrui – Minister of State for Youth Affairs

Book: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

This non-fiction book explores the probability of improbable events occurring in situations where one outcome is greatly favoured over the other, profiling many examples of the underdog who ends up beating the odds.

Saeed Alwahabi – Saudi writer and analyst

Book: Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The first volume of the great Nobel Laureate's autobiography tells the story of Marquez's life, from his birth in 1927 in Colombia, up to the moment in the 1950s when he proposed to his wife.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi – Chairman of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department

Book: My Story by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

This memoir by the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai charts his journey from young royal to Prime Minister of the UAE.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This non-fiction work surveys the entire history of humankind, from the Cognitive Revolution up until the modern 21st century.

Dr Ali bin Tamim – Director-General of Abu Dhabi Media

Book: Andalus, Al Shouaraa (meaning Andalus, City of Poets) by Mohamad Banis

This anthology of poetry contains many works, including one by Yahya Al Ghazal.

Zaki Nusseibeh – Minister of State

Book: Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents edited by Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers and Nada Shabout

This compendium brings together critical art writings by 20th-century Arab intellectuals and artists.

Abdulrahman Al Rashed – journalist and columnist

Book: Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

This multi-generational biography recounts the lives of her grandmother, mother and finally Chang's own upbringing in 20th-century China.

Dubai Abulhoul – Emirati author

Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This novel by Afghan-American writer Hosseini tells the story of two women brought together by the tragedies of war.