A teenage girl from Sudan has won this year’s Arab Reading Challenge. she has beaten competition from more than 13 million learners all over the world to be named the Arab Reading Challenge champion.
Sudan’s Hadeel Anwar has secured the Dh500,000 top prize from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai Opera House on Wednesday, she was handed the prize by Sheikh Mohammed himself.
Among other contestants were the five runners up, who were competing for victory in the competition finals, they were Jumana Al Malki, of Saudi Arabia, Morocco’s Fatima Al Zahra Akhyar, Aya Boutreea, from Tunisia and Abdulaziz Al Khaldi, from Kuwait.
During the challenge, Egyptian Amira Naguib won the "Supervisor Award" in the Arab Reading Challenge, which was finished today November 13th, in Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed presented personally the “Prestigious Supervisor” award to Egypt's Abdel-Hamid, who works as a senior library specialist at Cairo’s Directorate of Education.
In his turn, Egypt’s Minister of Education, Tarek Shawqi, congratulated Abdel-Hamid and handed over an honourary certificate.
The Arab Reading Challenge is a literacy initiative, launched in 2015 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. The initiative aims to establish a culture of reading among young Arabic speakers across the globe, as well as to highlight the importance of knowledge in shaping their future, as well as the future of their communities and countries.
The challenge was introduced as a response to a study that stated that Arab children read for only six minutes per year, compared with 12,000 minutes in the west.
The challenge focuses on students from Years one to 12, from schools across the Arab world. The competition runs annually from September to March. In order to enter the challenge, children are encouraged to read ten books, and summarise them in a series of five phrases in a coloured ‘passport,’ with their teachers checking the summaries. Each passport has ten pages, hence children read fifty books throughout the academic year. They then pass through a number of qualification stages at school, district, national and regional levels.
The winning student will be awarded a $100,000 scholarship, as well as a cash grant of $50,000 made to the student's family. The school with the best reading initiatives will be granted $1 million funding, while $300,000 is to be offered to the faculty member with the greatest commitment to reading.