Fifty libraries filled with books in English, Urdu, Tagalog and other languages will be set up in labour camps across the emirate of Sharjah this September, Knowledge without Borders (KwB) has announced.
The Sharjah based cultural initiative to promote a culture of reading in every Emirati household is collaborating with Sharjah’s Labour Standards Development Authority (LSDA) to roll out this project in the next five months, as part of the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 (SWBC 2019) celebrations.
Inclusivity is one of the core focuses of SWBC’s yearlong cultural programme, and this initiative will help books and knowledge reach thousands of hard-working living in these 50 camps.
The Al Sajaáh camp in Sharjah is one of the 50 beneficiaries of this initiative. The two entities came together to make the announcement here, marking Labour Day, on May 1. From May 1–4, the occasion will be celebrated by bringing the large number of residents of the camp together for numerous cultural activities, including poetry reading, singing and storytelling in Urdu by Bazm-e-Urdu – a non-profit organisation devoted to promoting and popularising the use of Urdu among people in the UAE.
HE Salem Al Qassir, Chairman of the SLSDA, noted: “The announcement to establish libraries across 50 labour accommodations in Sharjah, in cooperation with KwB, shows our keenness to develop a human-friendly work environment that meets the intellectual and psychological requirements of the workers, and hopefully positively affect their performance and productivity. With this new step to bring books and wider sections of society closer together, we are reaffirming Sharjah’s cultural status and realising one of the many goals the emirate has set itself as the World Book Capital 2019.”
The project, inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, falls with our plans to enrich the lives of workers through knowledge and awareness and also encourage them to utilise their free time productively. The libraries will be stocked with a diverse variety of books and other sources of information in several languages, and will be constantly updated to ensure that workers benefit from them,” he added.
Highlighting the main objectives of the libraries drive, Noura bin Hadiya, Manager of KwB, said: “We strive to promote the value of reading among members of the community, especially children and youth, by engaging them in activities that help them discover the joy of exploring new themes, messages, and cultures through reading books. We wanted to extend the same opportunity to the workers who don’t get a chance to go out of their way to access books. By setting up libraries for the workers in their camps we hope to give them a chance to peruse books and engage in reading as a community, promote a love for reading among them and make it a daily habit.”
She added: “Our enthusiasm to spread the love for reading is guided by the vision of His highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who has set a unique precedent, not just in the UAE but also the region, of how to create a culture of reading and knowledge.”
KwB was launched by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is closely supervised and supported by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi. The initiative seeks to promote a robust culture of reading in every Emirati household by establishing home libraries and supplying them with the best books of various genres and areas of knowledge suitable for all family members.
The Labor Standards Development Authority was established in 2014 and is a local government agency in the Emirate of Sharjah. The Authority takes into consideration the federal legislation to develop the working environment standards in the Emirate. The employer and the worker are in cooperation and coordination with the concerned authorities. And the care of employers and workers with the development of methods that attract and motivate employers and workers and high quality standards to ensure an appropriate working environment and meet their needs while raising awareness among them the importance of adherence to the laws and rights and standards of work.