Sharjah’s ‘Pledge a Library’ Initiative Distributes 600 Books in Brazil
Dubai, UAE, August 08, 2018: The Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment (KF), a Sharjah-based non-profit, has supported the São Paulo Public Library, six school libraries, as well as community service centres in Brazil that host a rich collection of Arabic books, with 600 new titles.
The books have been provided as part of KF’s ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative, which seeks to offer Arab and refugee children, and those who live in less fortunate communities access to books, helping them develop a fondness for their language and heritage even if they are away from their homelands.
Amna Al Mazimi, Manager of Kalimat Foundation, said: “Kalimat Foundation has offered a choice selection of Arabic books to Brazilian libraries, supports our aim to spark children’s imaginations and enrich their journey in education and learning through novels and literature. Children living away from their country of origin have tougher times with questions like identity, nationality, and belongingness. Through these books, we hope that students and young readers of Arab descent will experience the works of prominent authors, intellectuals and researchers in the Arab world, as well as works in literature and science from around the world translated to Arabic.”
Al Mazimi added: “One of our key objectives is to reach out to children in trauma-affected regions, and nurture their capabilities with the knowledge contained in books. Reaching out to Arab refugees in Brazil is a challenge, given their huge numbers and distribution over many Brazilian cities, and we gratefully acknowledge the efforts of all Brazilian institutions for helping us overcome this challenge through engaging and communicating with the initiative to get libraries and Arabic books.”
Silvia Antibes, Coordinator of the Library Department of the Culture Secretary in the State of Sao Paulo, said: “This valuable initiative will go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations between Sharjah’s and Brazilian cultural entities. Sharjah’s participation as the São Paulo International Book Fair’s guest of honour has already been a landmark event in furthering cultural understanding and exchange between us, and the library initiative really adds to that. This is a great gift for the Arab community in Brazil, especially children and young adults who are in the process of learning and understanding their mother tongue – what a boost this will offer to them. We are in full support if this initiative and look forward to future collaborations with KF, which will help realise the vision of the Brazilian government dedicated to promoting cultural diversification in our country.”
An enthusiastic representative from one the beneficiary schools, said: “The world needs more organisations like the Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment who dedicate their efforts to providing the younger generations access to books and knowledge, no matter where and in what circumstances they are. Reading was and will always be the surest path to individual as well as national development. To preserve our Arab and Islamic identity among expat Arab children is one of the objectives of this school, and this wonderful gift perfectly aligns with our objective.”
KF launched the ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative during its participation in the 36th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair 2017. It has received strong support by several prominent government and private organisations in the emirate, such as the Sharjah Media Council, Sharjah Book Authority, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Sharjah Ladies Club, Knowledge without Borders, the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative and the UAE Board on Books for Young People, and other establishments and personalities.
Since its inception by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment, in April 2016, Kalimat Foundation seeks to ensure the basic right of every child to read and to have access to books. It strives to promote the importance of books as the ideal means to children’s intellectual and social development, in line with its firm belief in the positive impact of books on building future knowledge-based generations. KF facilitates the provision of public libraries and refugee camps with books and gives children in disadvantaged areas access to knowledge.