What is the price of a smile? Now multiply that by 71 million. For, that's the number of lives that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives touched and transformed in 2019. It is more than just a cold statistic; it is the number of sighs of relief, tears of joy and stories of gratitude from around the world. In this series, Khaleej Times showcases eight people whose lives MBRGI changed last year through the power of hope.
Fatma Al Amri, an Emirati writer with passion for literature, was raised in a family that valued knowledge and education. Her father's library was her haven that sparked her passion for words and letters from an early age. "My teacher would complain about my impatience to learn letters," she recalled.
"My mother believes that was the first sign of my future as a writer."
To hone her writing skills, Fatma participated in short story-writing and children's literature workshops under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation's 'Dubai International Programme for Writing'. She considers her participation to be one of the most enriching experiences in her journey as a writer so far.
The courses sharpened her writing skills, allowing her to publish two works - a story collection called 'Al Wajh' and a children's story called 'Dafrantouta'. "Young writers need a guiding light and a professional entity to support their talent, just like MBRF," Fatma said, expressing her pride as a graduate of the programme.
Aiming to encourage and empower young talents, the 'Dubai International Programme for Writing' organised five creative writing courses in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, drawing 105 participants last year.