Dubai, UAE: Emirates Literature Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zayed University aimed at collecting data and conducting an empirical study on the impact of the Reading for Pleasure initiative on the development of Arabic language. The cooperative endeavour will have researchers from Zayed University collating information to evaluate the effect of the Reading for Pleasure project on several outcomes such as academic performance, overall development with a focus on proficiency in Arabic language. 

Reading for Pleasure is Emirates Literature Foundation’s pilot project with DP World which involves engaging with students, parents, and teachers across six primary and kindergarten level schools in Dubai and providing them with resources and support to foster a love of reading for pleasure. Over the five years of the initiative, in addition to enriching school and classroom libraries and curating reading material, the Foundation will also offer professional development for teachers, regular two-way feedback with parents and author visits and extra-curricular activities for students.

The agreement was signed by Isobel Abulhoul OBE, Founder, Advisor and Trustee of Emirates Literature Foundation and Prof Michael Allen, Acting Vice President, Provost, and Chief Academic Officer at Zayed University at the Dubai Campus of Zayed University. 

Isobel Abulhoul OBE, Founder, Advisor and Trustee of Emirates Literature Foundation said: "This partnership signifies a transformative journey for our two organisations, Emirates Literature Foundation and Zayed University, and for the region, as we delve into the fascinating realm of data to investigate the impact of Reading for Pleasure on Arabic language development, and on students’ wellbeing and confidence. This is a significant step towards proving the potential of recreational reading and the love of books in nurturing and enhancing language skills and together, we’re at the precipice of discovering new insights that will enrich the world of reading, language, and education.”

Prof Michael Allen, Acting Vice President, Provost, and Chief Academic Officer at Zayed University said: "We recognize the vital role of promoting 'Reading for Pleasure' among the youth in the UAE. We actively encourage our students to participate in cultural and knowledge-based initiatives that foster personal development and empower them as future leaders and critical thinkers. Zayed University strongly advocates both academic and extracurricular activities aimed at achieving these objectives. We are excited to collaborate with the Emirates Literature Foundation, offering our tools and expertise in support of this valuable initiative.”

The long-term collaboration between Emirates Literature Foundation and Zayed University will commence immediately and will be undertaken by a joint task force.


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About the Emirates Literature Foundation:

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.

Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.

In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the First Chapter, the School Librarian of the Year Award, Kateb Maktub, and From the Inside Out, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and mentorship programmes. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2020 International Literary Festivals Conference, the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference and the 2016 Dubai Translation Conference.

The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival.