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Posted on December 08, 2013

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Publishing Group, has stated that the UAE adopts a visionary strategy in terms of smart education to develop curricula and educational materials in the Arabic language. She pointed to the series of educational programmes launched by Horouf Educational Publishing with the aim to instill a love of the Arabic language in the hearts of children, consolidate Arabic identity in the new generations, and keep up with the latest developments and trends in education sector.  

The statement was made by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi during a meeting held Wednesday with Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Vice President of the Supreme Education Council in Qatar. The meeting was held on the sidelines of her visit to Qatar, which coincided the opening of the 24th Doha International Book Fair, taking place from the 4th to the 14th of December. During the visit, Sheikha Bodour met a number of Qatari senior officials in the cultural and educational sectors.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and Sheikha Hind Al Thani discussed areas of bilateral cooperation between Kalimat Publishing Group and the Supreme Education Council in smart education and the development of curricula. Sheikha Bodour commended the role played by Sheikha Hind in developing education, building teachers’ capacity, and improving students’ skills in Qatar.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi presented the efforts of Kalimat Publishing Group to publish children books and develop the Arabic content of children books by introducing innovative products that help ignite a passion for reading and cultivate lifelong reading habits. She also introduced the Horouf initiative which aims to provide Arabic language e-learning solutions for students. She clarified that ‘Horouf’ is striving to make a breakthrough in Arabic language learning methods through innovative technology enabled educational programmes specially designed to motivate students’ interaction, creativity and systematic thinking. She added that this initiative is in line with the UAE’s approach aimed at the effective integration of ICT in the educational system and curricula.

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Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi also held a meeting with His Excellency Dr Mohammed Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education of and the Secretary General of the Supreme Education Council in Qatar, in which she presented the results of implementing the Horouf initiative in Sharjah schools. Horouf is being implemented currently in 29 schools which covers 200 classes, with more than 5100 beneficiaries in kindergarten level, while 222 female teachers received training on the use of the Horouf e-learning application; the region’s first of its kind solution for learning in Arabic language using smart technologies.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi furthermore presented a number of other projects launched by Horouf Educational Publishing including the ‘Big Book’ which contains texts in large font and attractive images and illustrations to draw the attention of children, encourage them to love reading, and help teachers conduct group reading sessions, enhance children’s vocabularies, boost their self-confidence and motivate the team work.  

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi accompanied by His Excellency Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, toured Doha International Book Fair. During the tour she stressed the significant role played by book fairs in boosting Arab cultural relations and developing the publishing industry in the region and world. She hailed government efforts in a number of Arab countries, where governments have placed books and publishing high on their agendas and adopted and launched initiatives and activities that enrich cultural life.

During a meeting with Dr Hamad Al Kuwari, she expressed her delight with the successful book fairs organised by Arab countries and their exponential growth in size and popularity to represent cultural extravaganzas that bring writers, authors and publishers together, create platforms for exchange of visions and experiences and generate the cultural momentum needed for renewal and progress, as well as for literary and intellectual evolution in the Arab World. 

Following the meeting with the Qatari minister, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi visited the Sharjah International Book Fair’s pavilion, where she met with the pavilion officials and was briefed on how SIBF through its international participations contribute to promoting Sharjah’s cultural role, asserting the Emirate’s presence in publishing industry, and encouraging publishers to participate in the next edition of SIBF.