Hundreds of Fujairah school pupils enter world of learning on book bus

Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation arranged a two-day event to promote reading by sending a mobile library to spend a day at two remote schools in the emirate.
Grade 9 students of Al Raheeb School check out the books available in the mobile library. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Grade 9 students of Al Raheeb School check out the books available in the mobile library. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

FUJAIRAH // More than 300 school pupils hopped onto a book bus to discover a new world of learning.

Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation arranged a two-day event to promote reading by sending a mobile library to spend a day each at two schools in the emirate as part of the initiative Hayakom Aqro Mana – Come Read with Us.

The bus visited Sakamkam School on Tuesday and Al ­Raheeb School the following day.

A 10th grade pupil at the remote Al Raheeb School said it was the first time she had seen a bus full of books.

“The idea is absolutely unique with an atmosphere that ­encourages you to read and trigger your imagination,” said 15-year-old Mazoun Salem.

“It’s difficult to find a library nearby; either we read at school and stick with what they have or drive to Dibba or Fujairah to buy a book.”

Al Raheeb School is in Dadna, 45 kilometres from Fujairah city and 20km from Dibba.

“Some of my classmates like to read e-books, but I prefer to hold the book in my hands – I enjoy it more,” said Mazoun.

Another pupil said her parents set up a library at home to encourage their children to read more.

“I was raised to love and admire books since I was a child and this bus made me feel like I’m part of an imaginary story,” said Mariam Al Hassani, 14. The book bus has about 2,000 books and reading materials along with devices to display e-books – plus a sitting area.

It was provided by Knowledge without Borders, the Sharjah-based cultural project that aims to provide easy access to books across the country.

“I participated in the reading competition and in many school reading activities, and I don’t mind reading a book online if I don’t find it elsewhere,” said Mariam.

The Al Raheeb principal, who is also named Mariam Al ­Hassani, welcomed the mobile library. It was, she said, an exciting new experience for her pupils.

“We have about 7,000 books in our school’s library,” she said. “The nearest public library is in Dibba and [there are] no bookshops nearby, so we try our best in providing the students with the books they need; either we buy them from the book fairs or we look for them online.

“We arrange many reading competitions and activities throughout the year and this bus will help in encouraging students to read and love reading.”

Ali Qasim, the general manager of Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, said that the initiative went hand-in-hand with the UAE’s Year of Reading and aimed to highlight the importance of reading, with a focus on Arabic literature.

“Our initiative seeks to promote reading in a modern and easy way that can encourage people of all ages to transfer it into a habit and enrich their knowledge and experience,” he said.

rhaza@thenational.ae

Published: September 22, 2016 04:00 AM

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