In a bold initiative to bolster reading rates among children and amplify their role in serving their communities, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has spearheaded the Kan Yama Kan (KYK) campaign, distributing 1,000 books in numerous villages and areas across Egypt. The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) generously donated the books to KYK, which were evenly dispersed between the Al Dawama village centre in the Fakous district of the eastern governorate and Mokattam in Cairo.
At Al Dawama village, KYK organised a series of edutainment activities for children. Cultural and reading sessions were organised in Bedaya institution in collaboration with Dar Alia for publishing in Mokattam in Cairo.
During book distribution, reading sessions for children led by the acclaimed Egyptian writer and storyteller Haitham El Sayed, recipient of the Etisalat Award for Children’s Literature and other prestigious accolades. El Sayed launched the “Hawadeet Al Arabeyat”, which travels to various Egyptian governorates and holds storytelling sessions. Through his unique storytelling style, El Sayed captivated children, nurtured their love for reading, and expanded their knowledge of the crucial role books play in building their future.
Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY, underscored KYK’s significance in fostering a reading culture and spreading knowledge throughout the UAE and the Arab world. She emphasised that books play a vital role in shaping young minds and instilling a lifelong love of learning.
As Al Aqroubi stated, “Books represent a gateway to a world of imagination, creativity, and knowledge, opening new horizons and providing opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Through books, children can learn about different cultures, explore new ideas, and develop critical thinking skills, which makes UAEBBY’s efforts and initiatives crucial in encouraging reading and making books accessible to all to empower future generations with the tools they need to succeed in life.”
Al Aqroubi also stressed the importance of cooperation and partnership in realising this objective, lauding the efforts of the EPA and the local community in achieving KYK’s goals.
Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA, expressed his pride in the KYK initiative and the 1,000 books distributed to children in Egypt. He highlighted the crucial role Emirati publishers’ crucial role in this initiative, adding that the Association is devoted to supporting endeavours that promote reading and encourage learning, both within the UAE and beyond.
“We believe books can change lives,” Al Kous said. “Making them accessible to everyone contributes to creating a more enlightened society by exploring new ways to engage readers and promote literacy in all communities.” He expressed his hope that the KYK initiative will inspire others to take action towards promoting reading and spreading knowledge.
UAEBBY is the UAE’s local branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), launched in 2010 as a driving force for promoting a reading culture among children and young people. The EPA, founded in 2009, serves and develops the publishing industry in the UAE, advancing Emirati publishers’ role through training and mentorship programs and by improving publishing-related conditions and laws.