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Bodour Al Qasimi visits Syrian Children at Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp and reads to them

posted on 08/06/2014: 1737 views



Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron and Head of the Organising Committee of Knowledge Without Borders (KWB), has said that concerted international cooperation is required to help Syrian refugee children withstand the drastic situation they are going through, adapt to their temporary living conditions at refugee camps, and give them hope for a better future.

The statement was made during Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi s visit to the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp in Marjeeb Al Fahood, in Jordan, to launch Sharjah s Cultural Initiative for Syrian Children Read for Syria s Children . Sheikha Bodour was accompanied by Hadi Hamad Al Kaabi, Manager of the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp.

Co-organised by UAEBBY and KWB in collaboration with U.A.E. Red Crescent, the initiative supports the Big Heart Campaign launched by H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.

Sheikha Bodour said, "Syrian children and other underprivileged children in the world deserve attention and care to put them on the right path towards a better future. She emphasised that access to books and the opportunity to read are as important as food and medicine for children in crisis.

She added, "The aim of this visit is to offer moral and psychological support to Syrian children. We believe that children have the right to read, to have access to quality books, and to be literate regardless of their circumstances. We seek to promote, stimulate and maintain the concept of bibliotherapy to ensure spiritual motivation for children. We try to encourage a positive outlook through reading and culture".

The tour to the camp commenced with a visit to a training workshop, organised by U.A.E.BBY and KWB in cooperation with parents. The session focused on bibliotherapy and how children can use reading and books to relieve depression and take a positive approach.

During her meeting with parents at the workshop, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi called on them to inspire their children to read, as reading helps bring happiness to children, even temporarily. She emphasised that reading helps children see different beautiful things and think differently, and will open minds towards a better future after the crisis is over.

During the visit, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi opened a 3000-book children s library. Named the Big Heart, the library is the first of its kind for Syrian refugees in the region. Books were deliberately selected by the UAEBBY and KWB to be used by children for bibliotherapy and to help solve many problems and behaviours they are suffering from.

During the opening ceremony, Sheikha Bodour conducted a reading session for a group of children who attended. She read to children one of Kalimat Publishing s books titled "What is the colour of love" which talks about love, optimism and hope. Sheikha Bodour encouraged them to enjoy reading the books which will be available to them throughout the year. At the end of the tour, Sheikha Bodour joined the children who were painting a mural at the entrance of the library, in collaboration with a number of professional illustrators who came from Sharjah to share with children their expression of their vision for the future.

The visit saw a number of activities which were organised in collaboration with Tales and Music House from Jordan, in the presence of a large number of children and parents. The activities included reading sessions with music effects, face painting, and reading Fly Away the Kite book, winner of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children Literature 2011. The moral of the story is that happiness is not determined by what is going on around you, but rather what is happening inside you. The pleasant surprise for children was a kite for everyone at the end of the activity.

Hadi Hamad Al Kaabi, Manager of the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp, welcomed the visit of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi and the accompanying delegation. He stressed that the camp s residents receive such visits with pleasure as they give them hope that their situation is being attended to.

Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the U.A.E. Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) Executive Board, said, "We hope this initiative will contribute to helping Syrian refugee children everywhere, as it will draw the attention of the international community towards their situation. This initiative will also help children alleviate the psychological pressures they are under, by providing cultural and entertaining activities that will be part of their new lives in camps until they go back home, peacefully".

Rashid Mohammed Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge Without Borders (KWB), said cooperation will be sought with the camp management and a number of cultural and educational institutions in Jordan to follow up the implementation of the initiative s activities throughout the year. As part of these joint efforts, the House of Tales and Music will organise a number of training workshops and reading sessions for children, teachers and parents, which will focus on reading therapy.

Sheikha Jawaher had launched the Big Heart Campaign for Syrian Refugees on 20th June 2013, coinciding with the UNHCR s commemoration of World Refugee Day. The campaign aims at supporting Syrian refugee children affected by the crisis in Syria, alleviating their suffering, and maintaining their right of healthcare, education, safe childhood, and to a better life and future.

The Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp was opened in May 2013 over an area of 250 acres, as a first phase of a five-phase facility that will cover 13,000 acres in total. The Dh 37 million (US$10 million) first phase accommodates 5,000 refugees and has a future capacity of 25,000 refugees.

Minister of Health orders registration, pricing of new varieties of medicines

Minister of Health Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais has issued two ministerial decisions on the registration and pricing of 231 types of medicines.

According to the decision, the prices of 11 varieties of medicines for the treatment of blood, hormone and immunity diseases, as well as allergies, will be reduced. The reduction commences at rate of 1 - 56 per cent.

The U.A.E. represented by the Ministry of Health had launched a number of initiatives over the last three years to reduce the prices of many medicines, following coordination with the pharmaceutical companies. Those initiatives have positive impact on the patients nationwide.

The decision to endorse the registration and pricing of 231 varieties of medicines was based on the recommendations from the Higher National Committee for Drugs Registration and Pricing at the Ministry of Health, which met in Dubai. Chaired by Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing, Deputy Chairman of the Higher National Committee for Drugs Registration and Pricing at the Ministry of Health, the meeting was by representatives of the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a number of national universities and Dubai Healthcare City. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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