The national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman has donated a large number of Arabic and English-language books, including many that have been provided by major Arab publishing houses, to the Maktabati project, which has been established by the Dar Al Atta Charity Association.
The books were given to Mrs Jean Jafar, of the Dar Al Atta Charity Association, by Dr Khalid Abdul Wahab Al Balushi, Senior Manager Government Relations and Sustainability for Oman Air, at the airline’s headquarters in Muscat. Dr Al Balushi was also responsible for coordinating the airline’s contribution to the Maktabati project.
Dr Al Balushi commented: “Reading feeds the mind and knowledge elevates the spirit, so we are delighted to be supporting the Dar Al Atta Association’s vital campaign. Children throughout Oman are finding, through the work of the Maktabati project, that the famous Arab poet Al Mutanabi spoke wisely when he said that ‘the book is the best companion’, and the resulting increase in reading skills within the Sultanate has the potential to make an important contribution to the lives and well-being of future generations, and of the nation as a whole.
“It has therefore been a pleasure for Oman Air to launch a special initiative within our workforce, encouraging staff to participate in this important national project. Under the title of "1000 Stories”, a large number of employees in various departments and stations, both within Oman and internationally, have contributed to the collection of books and stories which will enrich the Maktabati project and help them to achieve their goals.
Mrs Jafar, for the Dar Al Atta Charity Association, added: “We are delighted to receive this donation from Oman Air and we would like to thank the airline and all its employees for their important contribution. The books will help to stock the shelves of our mobile library, which is housed within a spacious, air-conditioned bus and travels the country to provide children of all ages with interesting and suitable reading matter.”
Oman Air’s contribution to the project is being supplemented by donations from other major Omani companies, government departments and private agencies.
The Maktabi project is part of a larger campaign launched by the Dar Al Atta Charity Association in 2007, entitled “Let’s read”. The campaign aims to encourage children to love reading and to fill their leisure time with beneficial hobbies. With these aims in mind, the campaign has established small internal libraries at children’s wings in many hospitals, as well as in a number of schools in Oman.