Date of the Event: 30-04-2021

The first day of the Forum entitled Childrens Programmes and the Challenge of Values starts

The two-day Forum entitled “Children’s Programmes and the Challenge of Values” kicked off on 2-3 May 2021 at 9:30 pm organised by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments via the videoconferencing as part of the UAE President Guest Scholars Programme for the holy month of Ramadan with the participation of Awqaf’s Director-General and a host of officials, ambassadors, preachers, Guest Scholars and specialists in the arena of childhood. As for the first day’s theme, the participants spoke of “Media Content Targeting the Arab Children and its Compatibility and Impact on the Social, Psychological, Intellectual and Cognitive Building”. They thoroughly discussed the theme in a way that helped come up with results and recommendations benefitting families and children alike. In his opening statement Dr Mohamed Matar Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Awqaf, welcomed the participants and invoked the Exalted Allah to grant abundant health and wellbeing to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, His Deputy HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Their Highness the Rulers of the Emirates. He praised the considerable role of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation “The Mother of the Emirates”, who is a role model to emulate and is a stronger advocate the families and childhood in our country and around the world. To this end, Dr Al-Kaabi Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak follows in footsteps of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, may Allah rest his soul in peace, in raising children embedded with the tolerant Islamic values and the authentic local traditions, hoping that the participants at the Forum will adopt her vision and get inspired by her strategy in building a cohesive society committed to their national identity. For his part, HE Turki Al-Dakhil, Ambassador of the Saudi Arabia to the UAE, spoke of children’s programmes contribution to raising the awareness amongst the generations to come, demonstrating examples of book authors of profound and interesting experience. Dr Al-Dakhil said that the media content introduced to children can be controlled and developed through the constructive positive communication and through educational programmes that help families raise and care for children and boot their psychological health and promote in them a sense of belonging and pride of their identity, heritage and traditions so that they can interact with the world’s cultures. In his speech, HE Mohamed Jalal Al-Raisi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), said that openness to the world has brought about challenges in following up and monitoring children, adding that this invites all of us to take the initiative to find solutions and set up preemptive strategies and plans with the aim to produce media materials that can attract children and indulge their curiosity. He also said that such media materials aim to encourage influencers for participation and augment the communication among the media figures and specialists in childhood to come up with positive initiatives benefiting children. He pointed out that the Emirates News Agency had allocated a part of its programmes devoted to children news giving the chance to the institutes caring for children to improve and develop their own programmes, adding that this is in conformity with the laws applicable in the UAE that serve and safeguard children’s rights and commending some examples in the media targeting children namely ‘Majid’ Magazine. For his part, Dr. Abdul-Moni’m Al-Mashouh, Head of the Al-Sakina Campaign to Promote Moderation and the UAE President Guest Scholar, said that many international studies uncover that the greatest threat to children and their behaviour is communication with strangers through a variety of available means followed via watching violent games and stories, and blemishing values and the national identity and watching the horrifying scenes in a way that muddles children’s ideas. He urged the necessity of confronting these challenges by raising the level of intellectual awareness of children by creating favourable environments, listening to children with open hearts and conscious minds, training specialists and educators in terms of of intellectual immunity and creating a disciplined media that takes into consideration the positivity in display and presentation. Mrs. Moza Al-Shamsi, Preacher at Awqaf, said that the Islam encourages us to adopt patience in the upbringing of children since the parents’ monitoring is a life-long educational process demanding perseverance and understanding of children’s attitudes and on how to deal with them. She affirmed that this will ensure their success and happiness in their lives, inviting the parents to be a role model for their children and establish dialogue with them and express the constructive criticism vis-a vis their children. She also urged parents to take advantage of modern technology in a way that promotes their ideas and enhances the culture and the lofty values, and to offer attractive alternatives in the case of prohibition.

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