His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has spoken highly of 13.5 million young students who partook of the 2019 Arab Reading Challenge.
"We celebrate more than 13 million students in the Arab Reading Challenge, the largest Arab knowledge initiative. We are stronger with Arab youth who believe in the power of words," tweeted Sheikh Mohammed.
The winner of the Arab Reading Challenge 2019 will be named on Wednesday, November 13, at the Dubai Opera House.
Launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage students to read as many books as possible (over 50) in one academic year, the Arab Reading Challenge is the largest-ever Arab literacy initiative. The challenge is an Arabic reading competition with participating students from Years 1 to 12 from schools across the Arab world. It's open to anyone in the Mena region, as well as Arabs living abroad, who are aged between 8 and 18. Pupils are tested on their understanding of the texts during the contest.
The annual competition has proven a major success story, with a rapidly growing number of literature lovers taking part each year.
A total of 13.5 million readers from 49 countries signed up for the challenge this year. More than 3,000 family members, friends, school officials and delegates will converge on the lavish culture spot as five contestants in line for the much-coveted prize.
This year's five finalists are: Hadeel Anwar from Sudan; Jumana Al Malki of Saudi Arabia; Moroccan Fatima Al Zahra Akhyar; Aya Boutreea from Tunisia; and Abdulaziz Al Khaldi from Kuwait. They were selected out of 16-strong semi-final field, which included UAE Reading Challenge winner, Mezna Najeeb.
Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, said the challenge is fundamental to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed's efforts to harness the potential of the next generation.
"In its fourth year, the Arab Reading Challenge has established its status as a pioneering initiative that developed youth’s capabilities, creating the largest knowledge movement across educational institutions in the Arab world," said Al Gergawi, who is also the Secretary-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
"The Arab Reading Challenge translates the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to build future enlightened generations capable of improving their lives through knowledge and contributing to achieving sustainable development of their societies," he added.