World

SHARJAH (Muhammad Farooq) – Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group on Thursday launched the Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing books and reading material to children and in underprivileged areas, as well as global regions affected by crises and conflict.

Headquartered in the Emirate of Sharjah, UAE, Kalimat Foundation strives to ensure the fundamental right of every child to read. It works to promote the idea that improving access to literature and encouraging children to pick up books is the best way to develop children’s mental and social capacities and ultimately improve society.

Sheikha Bodour announced the launch of the new Foundation during a reading session, organised at the Kalimat Group stand at the eighth edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which is being held at the Sharjah Expo Centre and runs until April 30.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimikk

During the session, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi read aloud to a group of children from six titles in the ‘Puppet Book’ series, a collection she has personally authored and published by Kalimat Publishing House. The little ones gathered at the stand enjoyed the recitals from the animal-themed books that are geared towards the younger reader.

Illustrated by artist Muriel Abichaker, profits from the sales of the six titles will go towards the Kalimat Foundation.

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“That the launch of the Kalimat Foundation stems from her strong belief in children’s right to have access to books and to obtain knowledge so as to be able to develop themselves. She noted that there are many children living under harsh conditions who are deprived from pursuing their education, as they have no access to sources of knowledge.

We hope that the Foundation will contribute to shaping a better present and brighter future for all children across the globe,” said Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.

Sheikha Bodour underlined that Kalimat Foundation’s mission is not limited to ‘lighting candles that illuminate the way for children,’ but is instead a practical initiative that will provide in-need youngsters with books, ensuring that they have access to education and knowledge. The Foundation will deliver reading material that contributes to building their capabilities, developing their talents and enhancing their cognitive abilities so they are equipped to overcome their challenges now and in the future.

The Kalimat Foundation will be run by a Board of Trustees chaired by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, with Sheikha Jamila bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, as the Vice President; Isobel Abulhoul, Director of the Emirate Airline Festival of Literature, as its Secretary General; Abdul Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, as its Treasurer and HE Lana Z. Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations (UN), as a board member.

The Kalimat Foundation will strive to facilitate the access of books, public libraries, refugee camps and areas with a high population density. It will work towards enabling children, teachers and parents to take advantage of the books, as well as the reading-related programmes it runs, thereby facilitating ready access for education providers and learners to the best sources of knowledge.