His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai...
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai crowned today Algerian boy Mohammed Abdulla Farah, the winner of Arab Reading Challenge, the Middle East’s largest initiative that encourages reading, in the presence of Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The six-year old was announced the 2016 laureate, outshining more than three million Arab contenders who were vying for the coveted prize of $150,000.
At the awards ceremony held in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed also honored Palestinian Talaih Al Amal high school, which won the $1-million award for Best Reading Initiatives in the region.
His Highness said that reading and knowledge are the best way for the civilization to get back on track in the region, where maintain Arabic language and Islamic identity starts with reading.
Sheikh Mohammed also said that the Arab Reading Challenge is a message from the UAE that the weapon of Arab nation was and will remain knowledge, adding that the Arab World currently faces a crises of the lack of motivation and a lack of a positive environment.
“Today we are honoring not only 18 winners but 3.5 million readers across the Arab world. Our meeting will be next year with 7 million readers, God Will,” His Highness said.
Sheikh Mohammed also said that the challenge unveiled the determination and persistence of the Arab Generation, adding that with every book students read, their minds will open up and help their societies and families for a better future. His Highness also said that the current Arab generation exceeded the expectations and demonstrated that the future is bright.
Sheikh Mohammed presented the awards to the winners during a glittering closing ceremony held at Dubai Opera House and graced by more than 1,500 attendees, including Sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries, delegates from 21 countries, representatives from the diplomatic missions accredited to the UAE in addition to parents of the winner students, organisers, headmasters of the winner schools and a host of local and international media.
Sheikh Mohammad launched the Arab Reading Challenge in September 2015, with the aim to encourage a million students in the Arab world to read 50 million books.
The challenge’s 2015-2016 edition attracted 3.59 million students from 54 nationalities, representing 30,000 schools in 21 countries.
The total prize money for all the different categories was Dh11 million.
Among those who attended the event were Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; and Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.