UAE parents urged to fire youthful imagination with reading



ABU DHABI // Parents are urged to give the gift of reading this year.

In December, the UK charity the National Literacy Trust revealed a study of tens of thousands of children had found one in eight of them had never been given a book as a present – leading many children to miss out on the chance to build confidence in reading outside the classroom.

Emad Abu Eid said this issue was probably amplified in Arab cultures, where parents prefer to give electronic devices such as iPhones or iPads as presents – rather than a paperback or hardback book.

“Usually parents give their children the smart phones or whatever. But nobody thinks about giving a book,” he said.

“This is the culture and we need a cultural shift.”

Mr Abu Eid said parents should follow the lead of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who, at the start of the annual Abu Dhabi International Fair every year, gifts millions of dirhams in reading vouchers for schoolchildren to buy books.

“We need to gift children books to give children the chance to love their reading,” he said.

Wesam Musleh, a library specialist with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, said books are not often a popular choice as gifts in the Arabic culture.

“This is related with our culture,” he said. “When you bring something you have to bring something valuable or expensive.

“In our region we have to work more about this issue.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae

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Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Scorebox

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Wanderers

Tries Gormley, Penalty

Cons Flaherty

Pens Flaherty 2

Tigers

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Cons Caldwell 2

Pens Caldwell, Cross

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THE DETAILS

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Mr Chahwan says younger generations have a higher capacity to take on risk, but for some their appetite can be more cautious because they are investing for the first time. “Schools still do not teach personal finance and stock market investing, so a lot of the learning journey can feel daunting and intimidating,” he says.

He advises millennials to not always start with an aggressive portfolio even if they can afford to take risks. “We always advise to work your way up to your risk capacity, that way you experience volatility and get used to it. Given the higher risk capacity for the younger generations, stocks are a favourite,” says Mr Chahwan.

Highlighting the role technology has played in encouraging millennials and Gen Z to invest, he says: “They were often excluded, but with lower account minimums ... a customer with $1,000 [Dh3,672] in their account has their money working for them just as hard as the portfolio of a high get-worth individual.”

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Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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