Science, literature and art in the last week of the virtual Reading Box 2021

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–          Exploring the art of photography and the fun worlds of reading, genetics, and symbolism in children’s stories.

–          Enriching the national month of reading and consolidating the habit of reading in Emirati society.

–          A journey to learn about the importance of reading in stimulating the actor’s creative self

Dr. Maryam Mohamed Matar

Dubai, UAE: On a journey rich in science, literature and art, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is launching the activities of the last week of the virtual Reading Box that will comprise unique workshops and sessions to enrich the National Month of Reading and contribute to establishing reading as a daily habit in Emirati society.

The fourth week will begin with an interesting workshop entitled ‘Symbolism in Children’s Stories,’ during which participants will learn about the art of expressing ideas and dealing with various topics targetting children indirectly through the use of symbolism, among other methods. The workshop will be held by children’s story writer and translator Samar Mahfouz Barraj, who has published over 60 books, several of which were nominated for prestigious international and Arab awards. She has also translated 100 children’s books into Arabic from French, English and Italian. The workshop, which will be held in Arabic on 5 April 5 – 6:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams, will target adolescents and adults aged 17 and older.

The second workshop, titled ‘The Impact of Reading on the Actor’s Personality,’ invites actors eager to develop successful reading skills and strategies to join Syrian theatre director and drama and life coach Abeer Wakil, who will take them on a journey to discover the importance of reading in stimulating the creative self, how to apply sound and reading skills, and the types of reading and their effect on an actor’s imagination and performance. This workshop will take place via Microsoft Teams on 6 April from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. for adolescents and adults aged 16 and over.

Young children and adolescents aged 5 – 15 can also join an inspiring workshop on the art of photography titled ‘Basics of Photography for Children and Adolescents’ that will be presented by Emirati photographer Fatma Al-Jallaf, who has set up several art exhibitions in the UAE, most notably Gallery 10 for the Red Island in Ras Al Khaima, the UAE National Day Exhibition, and Ramadan Exhibition. Al-Jallaf will take participants on a special tour of the art of photography, where she will discuss a number of topics, including what photography is, the factors that come into play when choosing a camera, the correct way to carry a camera, the types of lenses, and other photography basics. This workshop will be held in Arabic on Wednesday, 7 April, from 11 – 11:45 a.m. via Microsoft Teams.

The Reading Box’s activities will conclude on 8 April, where the audience will have the chance to join an innovative workshop titled ‘Reading Programming and Strengthening Intelligence Genes’ presented by Dr Maryam Mohamed Matar, a medical doctor and one of the pioneers of genetic sciences in the UAE and the Arab world who was awarded the Arab Excellence Award for Scientific Research from the Arab League in 2020. She will introduce the audience to the role of reading and adopting a healthy lifestyle in programming human genes through several topics, most importantly office health, the effect of reading on the cellular and genetic level of an individual, and the quality of educational attainment and the prevention of ageing diseases. The workshop will be held in Arabic from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. via Microsoft Teams, targetting adolescents and adults aged 14 and over.

Links to the workshops and sessions, as well as updates on National Reading Month, can be viewed on Dubai Public Libraries’ Instagram account, @dubaipubliclibraries.