Sharjah24 – WAM: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Thursday crowned the Arab Reading Champion at the final ceremony of the sixth edition of the Arab Reading Challenge in Dubai.
The ceremony was held at Dubai Opera in front of an audience of more than 2,000, which included 360 national and community champions.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; and Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, also participated in honouring the winners, in the presence of H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; and Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Sheikh Mohammed honoured Sham Al Bakour from Syria as the winner of the sixth edition of the Arab Reading Challenge, after being selected from among 22.27 million students, the highest number of participants ever registered in a single edition of the Challenge since its inception.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid highlighted that civilisation begins with enlightenment, and reading enlightens the mind and the path towards a better future for Arab generations.
He said, “Our precious Arabic language is in the safe hands of the millions of Arab students and the thousands of volunteers that spare no effort to make this Arab literacy initiative a success.”
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his confidence in the ability of future generations to preserve the Arabic language. He said, “The Arab Reading Challenge succeeded in creating the largest knowledge movement in our Arab world. The Arabic book has been taken off the shelf, and put in the hands of our youth, to inspire hearts and minds and light up the path.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed noted, “The Arab Reading Challenge is the greatest gift the UAE could present to the millions of Arab youth, because reading is the key to the future.”
Acknowledging the efforts of all the participants and supporters, His Highness said, “I am grateful to the Ministries of Education throughout the Arab countries, and the thousands of supervisors, and millions of Arab students, for their unique contribution to this unprecedented literacy movement.”
Arab Reading Champions
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed honoured the national winners from across the Arab world for the exceptional achievement. Sham Al Bakour from Syria, who was crowned the Arab Reading Champion, was awarded a prize of AED1,000,000 following the final qualification stage.
Adam Al Qassimi from Tunisia came in second place, and Rashid Al Khatib from Jordan ranked third, receiving a prize of AED100,000, and AED70,000 respectively.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed honoured the community champions from 26 non-Arab countries. The Community Champion Award went to Nada Al Satri from Belgium, with a prize of AED100,000.
Marwa Al Bakri from Spain won second place, taking home a prize of AED70,000, while Nadia Al Bahnasi from Austria won third place, taking home a prize of AED30,000.
The Al Mokhtar Gazoulit School from Morocco won the Best School Award and a prize of AED1 million, out of more than 92,000 schools that participated in the sixth edition of the Arab Reading Challenge. More than 28,000 schools from Egypt; 24,000 schools from Saudi Arabia; 15,000 schools from Algeria; 10,000 schools from Morocco; 5,000 schools from Tunisia; and 4,000 schools from Jordan participated in the sixth edition of the Challenge.
The Al Tarbiyah Al Ahliyah Intermediate and Secondary Private Schools from Saudi Arabia won the second place, receiving a prize of AED500,000, while the Al Ahed Al Zaher Secondary School from Bahrain came in third winning a prize of AED300,000.
Members of the public from around the world voted for the Best School from among the shortlisted finalists.
Noor Mohammad Al Jboor from Jordan won the Outstanding Supervisor Award and a prize of AED300,000. Abdulrahman Al Harthi from Saudi Arabia came in second, winning a prize of AED100,000. The third place was awarded to Hanin Al Abdallah from Syria with a prize of AED70,000.
The judging panel of the sixth edition of the Arab Reading Challenge included Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Dr. Laila Al Obaidi, a novelist and lecturer in Arabic literature at several Arab universities, and Dr. Parween Habib, poet, critic, academic and media expert.
The audience at the final ceremony watched the ‘National Anthem of Arab Countries’ operetta, which featured a selection of artists from different Arab countries. The operetta, which included selected clips from the national anthems of Arab countries, celebrated the Arab Reading Champions.
The ceremony also included a video of milestones from previous editions of the Arab Reading Challenge, as well as songs titled ‘Al Qeraya Nour’ by Abu, and ‘Iqra’ by Mohammed Assaf.
A video clip shared by Mariam Amjoun, the Moroccan champion of the third edition of Arab Reading Challenge, was played during the final ceremony. The video featured an inspirational message urging students to participate in future editions of the Arab Reading Challenge.
A video of the youngest champions in the latest edition was also played at the ceremony. Sham Al Bakour, the seven-year-old Syrian national champion, won the title after participating in the Challenge’s sixth edition for the first time.
The biggest edition of the Challenge
The sixth Arab Reading Challenge registered 22.27 million participants from 44 countries, making it the biggest since the Challenge was launched.
The number of participants in each Arab Reading Challenge continues to increase year-on-year.
Approximately 3.6 million students from 19 countries participated in the first edition, with the number doubling in the second edition to more than 7.4 million students from 26 countries. As the third edition allowed entries from outside the Arab world, the number of participants reached 10.5 million from 44 countries. The number of participants in the fourth edition of the Challenge exceeded 13.5 million students from 49 countries, while the number of participants in the fifth edition reached 21 million students from 52 countries.
November 10, 2022 / 8:39 PM
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