Sharjah Beach Library Highlights Role of Reading
in Building Youth’s Capabilities
Sharjah World Book Capital Office organises a youth circle session themed ‘Young Readers’
Sharjah, November 12, 2019:The Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC) organised a youth circle session, in cooperation with the Federal Youth Authority (FYA), at Al Khan Beach 2 in Sharjah.
Themed ‘Young Readers’, the session was conducted by journalist and social scholar Dr. Abdul Salam Al Hammadi, and organised as part of the ‘Sharjah Beach Library’ initiative, which was launched in collaboration with Knowledge without Borders (KwB) as part of the year-long Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 celebrations.
In the presence of young men and women of different age groups, Dr. Al Hammadi discussed several development pillars such as the reading habits of youth, the challenges they encounter and their declining enthusiasm for reading. He touched upon ways to enhance the relationship between the young generation and books, claiming that reading is critical to build informed generations who can contribute to the inclusive development process in Sharjah.
The session also discussed the pivotal role of schools and universities in fostering reading as a robust culture among students and emphasised how educational curricula could serve as a tool to raise awareness on the importance of reading. Al Hammadi shed light on the role of social media platforms in promoting reading as a key method of acquiring knowledge, as the active engagement of the youth on such platforms is a reality of the modern age.
Several young men and women participating at the event laid emphasis on reading as a fundamental tool to develop one’s knowledge and potential. While some pointed out that it is important to read all genres of books, particularly those that are not included in academic disciplines, others opined that books on literature and culture are different from the school curricula, and on its own, would not offer proficiency in all fields of knowledge.
Discussing the rise of new technologies such as e-books and audiobooks that are changing the way we read, Al Hammadi asked participants if new and upcoming technologies were a deterrent to the practice of reading. Although most participants agreed on the importance of reading in any form, print or digital, some supported the view that it was the digital versions that offered more options to support knowledge attainment. Printed books, they said, had more of an emotional value. Others argued that audiobooks were useful for differently abled people, particularly those with visual challenges.
Al Hammadi called on the participants to launch youth educational campaigns modelled on the Sharjah Beach Library which, he said, was an excellent initiative highlighting the stature of books and promoting the habits of reading. He expressed his delight with the impressive selection of quality books at the beach library.