MBRF highlights wide array of knowledge programs at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair - Middle East News 247
July 18, 2024

MBRF highlights wide array of knowledge programs at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) kicked off its participation at the 33rd edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) with a dedicated pavilion to highlight its wide array of knowledge-oriented events and a selection of publications in both English and Arabic. The participation aligns with the MBRF’s commitment to supporting knowledge, creativity, and innovation, as well as highlighting the importance of reading as a means of acquiring knowledge and information.

In line with the event, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, visited the MBRF’s pavilion and discussed the ‘Global Knowledge Index’. During the visit, the MBRF offered him the book ‘Tolerance Among Virtues’, one of the publications of the Dubai International Program for Writing (DIPW), which was approved for postgraduate students at the Mohammed bin Zayed University for Humanities (MBZUH).

Highlighting the significance of MBRF’s participation in ADIBF 2024, His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF, pointed out the Foundation’s contribution towards advancing science, disseminating knowledge, promoting a culture of reading, and nurturing literary and intellectual creativity.

“The MBRF’s participation in the event comes as part of its relentless efforts to encourage sharing knowledge across Arab countries and provide a comprehensive platform for book lovers and scholars to learn about current intellectual and literary works and publications. The pavilion showcases a diverse range of publications focusing on many fields. Furthermore, it will provide a venue for other events and activities, including seminars, lectures, workshops, and discussions with renowned Arab authors and thinkers,” His Excellency added.

The pavilion, located in Hall 10-D06, will further host a variety of events under the ‘KnowTalks’, a series jointly organized by the MBRF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to underscore best global practices and experiences in addressing environmental challenges, water crises, climate issues, and strategies for promoting green investments.

His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb presented a knowledge session titled ‘Poetry and Artificial Intelligence.’ The session was held under the ‘Bil Arabi’ initiative, which was launched by the MBRF in 2013 to encourage the use of the Arabic language. During the session, His Excellency noted that the UAE and Saudi Arabia had outpaced many other countries in the field of AI. He further underlined that poetry would survive the development of AI because it has an advantage over machines. In addition, he pointed out that one of the key aspects that sets humans apart from machines is their capability for reasoning and deduction.

The ‘KnowTalks’ series hosted a panel discussion titled ‘AI for All: Innovating with Inclusiveness in Mind,’ which was presented by Yasmine Hamdar, AI Policy Specialist, UNDP. The discussion focused on the negative impact of AI systems on social life and the machines’ ability to mimic human behaviors like thinking, learning, and decision-making. In addition, the discussion highlighted the potential of AI in helping to mitigate global issues such as poverty and hunger eradication, pest monitoring, water resource management, climate change adaptation, social cohesion, and reducing inequalities among societies and individuals. The panel also assessed the key principles required to develop a human rights-based framework in the ethics of AI. The framework will cover various areas including proportionality and non-harm, safety, and security, the right to privacy and data protection, multi-stakeholder engagement, adaptive governance and collaboration, responsibility and accountability, transparency and explainability, human oversight and rigor, awareness and literacy, fairness and non-discrimination, principles of AI governance, and AI for sustainable development.

The pavilion, in line with the ‘Knowledge Lounge’ project, set the stage for the launch of ‘the Friendliness of Tunisia’, a book authored by Nada El-Sayed Muait, as the result of the Travel Writings workshop. Dr. Wafaa Al Mezghani, the workshop instructor, and Lina Taraqji, the session coordinator, explained the key themes presented in the book.

During an introductory session, Dr. Khaled Abdel Fattah, Advisor of Knowledge and Digital Solutions at the MBRF, provided an overview of the ‘Digital Knowledge Hub’ (DKH). He emphasized the DKH’s significance as the biggest digital hub for Arab content. The DKH adapts to the demands of the modern era and the younger generations. By disseminating Arab knowledge and knowledge across the globe, the DKH ensures a prime position among diverse cultures and civilizations. It further promotes connections with different cultures globally through the dissemination of knowledge and traditional values from reliable sources. Moreover, it serves as a vital platform for major Arab publishing houses. It provides the first search engine designed specifically for digital material created in the Arab world. This engine guarantees easy access to information and saves time and effort by using a classification method that complies with worldwide digital content organization standards.

On the second day of ADIBF, the MBRF organized various activities and events including a panel discussion titled ‘Cutting Food Waste, Cutting Carbon: Climate Solutions. The session which was part of the KnowTalks series had the participation of Lara Hussein, Co-Founder and Soil Builder, The Waste Lab. During the panel, she highlighted the issues of food waste globally, which has reached one billion tons in volume per year.

During the session, Hussein noted that carbon emissions (particularly methane and carbon dioxide) are the key cause of food pollution, followed by water, air, and soil contamination. She also highlighted the need for institutions to prioritize environment-friendly methods for disposing of organic waste, pointing out that food waste takes a long time to degrade in landfills and releases dangerous gases that contribute to climate change. These materials could be utilized to create useful fertilizer and other secondary products by putting in place the proper sorting procedures. This would improve the soil and farms in the area, which would ultimately improve the quality of the food and the climate.

In addition, the DKH organized an insightful discussion titled ‘The DKH: Platform, Content, and Solutions’ featuring Dr. Khaled Abdel Fattah. The session proved to be instrumental in highlighting the transition towards digital content in the present world. Dr. Khaled underlined that digital material will play a major role in shaping the future and demanded the creation of a comprehensive strategy to guarantee that it is accessible to a large number of people. He noted that it can be attained through digital programs and platforms that aim to establish cooperative, open, and interconnected systems, focusing on delivering integrated services. Furthermore, He underlined the need to improve Arabic digital content and encourage the growth of platforms that support its development. The second day of the fair also witnessed an introductory session on the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, which was presented by Huda Al Marzouqi, the prestigious award, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, seeks to identify remarkable achievements across the globe that contributed towards knowledge creation and dissemination. It also aims to encourage those involved in the knowledge sector to foster innovation, creativity and advancement in the realm of knowledge transfer and development globally.

Furthermore, DIPW organized a remarkable session titled ‘Writing for Children: Unlocking Doors to New Worlds and Potential Dreams’ during the second day of ADIBF. The session featured Dr. Wafaa Al Mezghani, a creative writing trainer, Rai Abdulal, author of children’s stories and science fiction, and author Maithaa Al Mazrouei. The session was moderated by writer Hoda Harkous. The day also witnessed the launch of the ‘Workshop on Creating Illustrations for Children’s Stories’ featuring renowned writer and artist Fatima Al-Amiri.

In line with the ‘Knowledge Lounge’ project, the pavilion conducted a discussion session, which featured Mustafa Saeed, the recipient of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Manuscript Editing. Furthermore, Amani Abahra, a well-known creative content creator, conducted a workshop titled ‘Creating Content for Social Media Platforms.’

The day also witnessed a discussion session titled ‘The UAE’s Government Development Model,’ which was organized by the Publishing and Distribution Department. The session which featured Dr. Abdulla Al Darmaki and Mr. Abdel Samad Al Maeeni, underscored the UAE’s experience in developing government services and embracing innovation as a key driver of government operations.

The MBRF concludes its second-day events at ADIBF with an engaging panel discussion titled ‘Arabic Language Computing and the Future of Machine Translation to and from Arabic.’ The session featured Osama Muneer Ibrahim and Mohammed Al-Ali, who highlighted the current status of machine translation to and from Arabic and assessed the possibilities for further development.

In line with a wide range of knowledge-focused events and activities it initiated, the MBRF will be hosting a group of prominent personalities in the fields of knowledge and the arts during ADIBF. The event which commenced on 29 April 2024 will run until May 5, 2024.

Last Updated on 3 months by Middle East News 247

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