As the world gears up to celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8th, Dubai-based author and creative educator, Purva Grover, offers a captivating roadmap for celebrating this vital day filled with books, stories, and literary joy.
Since its inception in 1967, International Literacy Day has annually underscored the vital role of literacy in upholding human dignity and rights while pushing the literacy agenda toward a more enlightened and sustainable society. At a time when the tradition of storytelling is waning, Purva Grover emphasizes the need to revive this age-old educational practice. With three published books to her credit, including “The Trees Told Me So” and “It was the year 2020”, Purva champions the idea that stories, more than facts, touch our hearts and serve as vessels to preserve cultures and traditions for generations to come.
On the occasion of International Literacy Day, Purva Grover, renowned for her work in fostering creative thinking and education for both young minds and adults, seeks to inspire one and all to embrace reading and writing as essential life skills, enjoyable pastimes, or avenues for stress relief. Here are five delightful avenues to partake in this celebration:
1. Explore a Bookstore – Bookends
Dubai’s beloved Bookends, a locally rooted bookstore and hub for pre-loved books, beckons book enthusiasts to embark on a literary adventure where book prices commence at a mere AED 1. With books spanning over 15 languages, visitors can also relish a cozy reading nook within the store.
At: Dubai Digital Park, Silicon Oasis, Dubai.
Get social: https://www.instagram.com/bookendsae/
2. Join a book club (A night of SHE reading and SHE games)
Towards the end of September, ardent readers can engage in a night of SHE reading, hosted by Purva Grover herself. SHE, a book by Grover, represents a literary homage to the essence of femininity. Guests can also play interactive games centered around the theme of the book.
Know more: On Thursday, 28th September, 7.30 pm-9.30 pm, Mogao by Socialicious, Dubai Digital Park, Silicon Oasis, Dubai.
Get social: https://www.instagram.com/mogaodubai/
3. Decorate with Word Art – Gift of Stories
For those seeking unique word-inspired decor, Gift of Stories offers a delightful range of quirky and colorful canvas prints that add whimsy and wonder to your living spaces. These canvases, available in various sizes and colors, are perfect additions to room walls, hallways, studies, and desks.
Get social: https://www.instagram.com/giftofstories/
4. Attend a Poetry Reading with Rashmi Kotriwala
Dubai-based poetess Rashmi Kotriwala invites you to a captivating morning of poetry as she shares verses from her debut Hindi poetry collection, “Khayaalon Ke Darmiyaan.” This compilation, comprising over 100 poems in the Hindustani language, promises to be a soul-stirring literary experience.
Know more: On Tuesday, September 13, 10.30-noon, Bookends Store, Dubai Digital Park, Silicon Oasis, Dubai
Get social: https://www.instagram.com/rashk29/
5. Engage in the Midnight Prompt Writing Challenge
Aspiring writers, thinkers, and creatives are warmly invited by Purva Grover to participate in the Midnight Prompt Writing Challenge. Commencing at midnight on September 8th and extending until September 16th, daily prompts will ignite your creative spark. You need not be a seasoned author or poet to partake; all amateur writers are encouraged to share their musings, be it a thought, sentence, paragraph, or more. These entries will be showcased on social media.
International Literacy Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the profound impact of literature and storytelling in our lives. Author Purva Grover’s diverse literary initiatives provide the perfect backdrop to make this day truly special. Join the literary festivities, explore the enchantment of words, and immerse yourself in the world of books, stories, and creativity.
For further details and to connect with Purva Grover, follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/purvagr/
UAE’s historic space mission ends with astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi’s return
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and his fellow Crew-6 members have successfully returned to Earth, concluding their historic space mission. The crew members safely disembarked from the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with assistance from SpaceX recovery personnel. Al Neyadi, the last to exit the spacecraft, completed the process exactly one hour after the splashdown.
Welcome home, #Crew6!
— NASA (@NASA) September 4, 2023
Crew-6’s remarkable space mission spanned an impressive 186 days, setting a new record as the longest mission in Arab history. The Dragon capsule made a secure touchdown off the Florida coast at 8:17 am on a Monday, with Al Neyadi emerging from the Dragon spacecraft just an hour later. During this mission, Al Neyadi achieved significant milestones, elevating the UAE’s status in the global space arena. He completed the longest-ever space mission by an Arab, spending six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and conducting groundbreaking scientific experiments for the betterment of humanity and scientific advancement.
As Sultan Al Neyadi, the UAE’s second astronaut, emerged from the Dragon spacecraft, he greeted onlookers with a smile and a wave. It’s worth noting that astronauts returning from extended periods in space often experience an adjustment period as they readapt to Earth’s gravity. The recovery process for the crew may take up to two hours to ensure their well-being after this remarkable mission.
UAE introduces end-of-service benefits system
The UAE Cabinet has approved an innovative system that allows employees in the private sector and free zones to invest their end-of-service benefits, and it’s optional for employers to participate.
Under this system, a savings and investment fund will be established, overseen by the Securities and Commodities Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Employees will have the opportunity to invest their end-of-service benefits in the fund, with multiple investment options available.
The announcement was made during a Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The primary objective is to safeguard workers’ savings while providing stability to their families and ensuring their rights. This scheme is open not only to private sector employees but also to government employees.
Employers can choose to enroll their workers in this system and make monthly contributions. The system offers three investment options, including a risk-free capital guarantee, various risk levels for traditional investments, and Sharia-compliant investments. Upon the termination of the employment relationship, employees will receive their end-of-service benefits and returns.
Over time, this scheme is expected to cost employers less than the traditional system and will help in retaining talent by offering more attractive terms for employees. Many experts have highlighted the dependence of UAE residents on their gratuity as a retirement fund. In a recent survey, 82% of workers expressed openness to having their gratuity invested on their behalf. Dubai had previously introduced a similar scheme for expatriates working in government departments in 2022, offering various savings opportunities and boosting their benefits and savings.
Luxury cars showroom opens in Dubai for premium motorists
A new car showroom dedicated to luxury supercars has opened near the Equiti metro station on the busy Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.
Set up by the accomplished automobile stalwart Sarabdeep Singh Bassi with his Man Friday Walid Al Balushi, the showroom opening witnessed a range of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, Mercedes and Bentleys along with some top options in the Land Rover range as well for a rich sampling of the showroom’s USP. The inauguration ceremony was graced by UAE businessman and SJM Group chairman Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum as the chief guest.
Bassi is a veteran of Dubai’s automobile circuit with showrooms for used and mid-range cars in three emirates – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi – since 2004 when he landed from the United States, where too he operated in the similar industry but around trucks and transport for a brief while.
According to Balushi, now is as good time as any to have a cars showroom for the upper echelons of the society. “Our Emirati folks are always a keen, regular market, but we also see a lot of Russians and people from the adjoining regions looking up high-end cars.”
This showroom is the latest addition to their Advantage Motors brand which deals in mid-range levels of cars in the three emirates.
“Already the response is very good,” Bassi said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony amid much fanfare. “We have more expansion plans like opening other automotive businesses after this. Our customers are from all over UAE and from other countries as well like Russia, Middle East countries, China, All Over Africa, and others. We are also promoting electric vehicles sale which are environment friendly.”
The vast showroom on the Sheikh Zayed Road, diagnonally across the Mall of Emirates, is laid out over 7,000 square feet and separate parking, with the best of knowledgeable staff at hand to help buy and sell the cars, along with other services like buying premium number plates, etc.