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Sheikha Shamma wins Personality of the Year Award at literature fest
By a Staff Reporter March 06, 2015
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DUBAI: Prominent cultural figure Sheikha Shamma Bint Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan received the 2015 Emirates Literature Foundation Personality of the Year Award in recognition of her major contribution towards fostering literacy, education and love of literature in all its forms.

The award was presented at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAFoL 2015) on Thursday by Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and the Emirates Literature Foundation, in the presence of Foundation Trustees Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Professor Rafia Ghobash and Dr Hessah Lootah.

Sheikha Shamma serves on the board of a number of organisations benefiting the community at large. She is Chairperson of the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Cultural Centre, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Generation Society, Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Generations School and the Shamma Bint Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Knowledge and Thought Council.

Sheikha Latifa said: “Through her committed work to promote child education and strengthening cultural identity, Sheikha Shamma serves as an inspiration for all, particularly the women in the UAE, in the role that they play in empowering the community. Literacy is a strong force of positive change, and by presenting the award to her, the Emirates Literature Foundation is celebrating her contributions to drawing on the power of the written word to transform lives meaningfully and enhance a greater understanding of Arabic language and culture.”

Sheikha Shamma thanked the Emirates Literature Foundation for recognising her work. “Educating children and developing a cultural identity is a key focus of my work. The country’s children are its future, and it is imperative that we keep them active and engaged, instilling in them a love of reading and writing. We have accomplished so much in such a short time but there is still so much left to achieve,” she said.

Congratulating Sheikha Shamma, Isobel Abulhoul said, “Sheikha Shamma has achieved incredible results in the field of education, particularly in terms of literacy, causes that are very close to the Foundation. Through her scientific research and study, she has managed to create a great deal of awareness and conversation about Arabic culture and the need for literacy initiatives. Her work is invaluable in the march to a better future for the country.”

Sheikha Shamma earned a doctorate in Political Sociology and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies. She has authored several papers on cultural development and identity and women in the workplace. In addition she also writes a highly topical monthly column for Al Ittihad newspaper.

Sheikha Shamma has received numerous awards including the Inspiration Woman Group 2013’s Arab Woman Award and the Knights of Arabs award in 2014 for her work in education.

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