DIFC Governor Latest Dubai Cares Mystery Reader

His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman Reads to Kindergarten Students at Raffles International School

HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank, was the latest Mystery Reader to read to students as part of the Dubai Cares' Million Book Challenge.

To the children's delight, Modhesh, one of Dubai's most popular mascots, was also present when HE Dr. Omar read 'At the Pool', by Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta to students of the Raffles International School.

Since the start of the Million Book Challenge, on 2 November, 2008, children throughout the community have read a total of 903,798 books. The challenge will end on 16 November, leaving students around the UAE a few days to reach the 1 million-book mark.

His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman said: "The Mystery Reading programme initiated by Dubai Cares is a unique way of reinforcing the value of reading and encouraging students to grow as readers. This is an extremely engaging and interactive programme, which inspires students to develop the reading habit, which is so crucial to the acquisition of knowledge. This programme is in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai for developing the youth in the country and the region. This will bring benefits to both individuals as well as the communities they belong to. A child who is educated and possesses good reading skills has the opportunity to grow into a leader who can contribute to his community and country."

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said: "Dubai Cares is proud to have such a distinguished group of Mystery Readers acting as ambassadors on behalf of Dubai Cares, personally conveying our message on the importance of reading and learning. Providing direct access to role models such as HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman to speak about how reading shaped their lives is the best form of inspiration we can give children in our community."

The Million Book Challenge invites all students aged 3-14 years to collectively read 1,000,000 books in two weeks. For each book read, Dubai Cares will purchase and donate a book in the local language to needy children around the world. The distribution of books will be managed by organizations, including Arab NGO's throughout the region.

Stacked atop one another, one million books is, conservatively, four kilometres high, which is five times the height of Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. Each evening, Dubai Cares beams the total number of books read on Burj Dubai, which is being used as a visual thermometer, to mark the campaign's progress towards its goal.

Residents and visitors in the UAE can also contribute to strengthening literacy around the world by sponsoring a book for AED10 each by calling 800 DXB CARES or at participating bookstores.

Considered the largest charitable establishment solely devoted to improving primary education around the world, Dubai Cares is actively addressing the educational needs of more than four million children worldwide through partnerships with international aid agencies.

For more information on this year's volunteer campaign, please visit www.dubaicares.ae.

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