American University of Ras Al Khaimah Celebrates ‘Year of Reading’

May 1, 2016,

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), through its Department of Languages and Literature, today hosted a celebration of reading and literature, in an effort to engage more people in this valuable pastime.

Opening the event, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President of AURAK, commented on the huge contribution the Arab world has had on literature and the liberal arts in the past, and praised H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s mandate of naming 2016 the ‘Year of Reading’.

The keynote speaker at the event, was Mrs. Noura Al Noman, a renowned Emirati author, who writes science-fiction novels for young adults.  Realizing there is a lack of these types of books in the Arabic language, she stated how she writes in order to reach out to disenfranchised Arab youths – the protagonist in her latest book is a refugee – and focuses on themes such as empathy and mutual respect.

The afternoon featured a series of readings and demonstrations of culture and the various languages spoken on the AURAK campus.  Professor Larry Griffin recited some of the poetry that he has written during his time living in Ras Al Khaimah, while Professor John Ryder gave an emotional reading of a Russian war-time poem.  There were further readings in languages such as French, German, Greek, Portuguese and Swahili.  The event was also attended by Mr. Ahmed Al Assam, Deputy Chairman of the UAE Writers and Authors Association.