UAE – The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) launched the initiative, ?In The Presence of a Book,? which includes quarterly discussion sessions. Each session will highlight one book published locally and to be discussed in the presence of the book?s author, intellectuals and TRA employees, where attendees will have an open forum with the author. The initiative will be held quarterly with the first session starting yesterday.

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, TRA, said: ?This initiative supports the UAE?s declaration of 2016 as the ?Year of Reading,?following the instructions of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in order to establish reading as a social habit and a permanent culture among UAE residents.?

Following UAE cabinet adoption for the ?UAE national program for tolerance?, the first session of ?In Book?s presence? initiative focused on the concept of tolerance, where Dr. Yousef Al Hassan presented his book titled ?Identity, tolerance and culture of dialogue?s questions.?

H.E. Al Mansoori highlighted the importance of reading in shaping a creative and socially aware generation apart from developing an analytical and logical mindset. He noted that the country?s main goal is to develop a generation of Emiratis that are not only capable of thinking scientifically but are also able to acquire cultural knowledge and generate new ideas to lead the nation globally. H.E. Al Mansoori quoted H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who said that ?We are optimistic about the future and the educated generation. We are also optimistic about peoples who read their history and prepare for their future.?

The first session of the initiative, which was held on a Ramadan Evening at ?The Cultural & Scientific Association,? lasted for two hours. During the session, Dr. Youssef Al Hasan presented his book Identity, Tolerance and Culture of Dialogue?s Questions? and saw the successful interaction between the attendees and the author through a question and answer forum about the book?s contents.

The second session will be held on the first week of October and will also take place at The Cultural & Scientific Association to discuss ?Memoirs of a Retired Academic Emirati? written by Dr. Abdulkhaleq?Abdulla.? The third session will take place during the last week of December at the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and will review the book ?The Education Development in UAE? authored by Mohammad Hasan Al Harbi. The quarterly review sessions will continue until next year, with new titles yet to be decided.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has declared 2016 as the ?Year of Reading? following the instructions of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The decree is intended to be integrated into the National Agenda to hone a new generation of readers and build a knowledge-based society rich in content, culture, knowledge and sustainable economy.

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