Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) participants were honoured at a ceremony held under the patronage of the Minister of Education His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al Isa and ARC Secretary General Najla Al Shamsi in Riyadh.
His Excellency honoured two winners in Saudi Arabia; male competition winner Mohammed Mukhtar Al Salman, in grade seven from the Eastern Region, and female competition winner Shatha Basha Al Toweirqi, in grade five from Ta’if. Al Isa also honoured the winner of the best supervisor award Nawal Mohammed Al Jarallah and the winner of the best school award Ibn Khaldoun School in Yanbu.
Her Excellency stated, “We are proud of our students in Saudi Arabia, who have competed in the Arab Reading Challenge for the second year in a row, and who have read thousands of books throughout the academic year. We wish our hero Mohammed Al Salman and our heroine Shatha Al Toweirqi the best of luck as they enter the final stage of the competition. We are keen to nurture a generation of readers and knowledge seekers, and the participation of our students in this competition is a trend that we support and that nourishes the minds of our students with knowledge.”
He continued, “I extend my sincere gratitude to UAE for launching the Arab Reading Challenge. I commend all efforts aimed at strengthening student culture and reading, and enriching Arabic content. This pioneering Arab initiative is in line with the Kingdom’s goals to develop a future generation of people who are raised intellectually. The Arab Reading Challenge facilitates this and provides us with students who are more optimistic for a better future for our nation through a generation of Arab intellectuals and readers.”
ARC Secretary General Najla Al Shamsi said, “We are proud of the high participation levels displayed by Saudi students. People in Saudi Arabia have shown great interest in the challenge, which is in line with their goals to enhance the cultural knowledge of Arab youth. We wish the finalists the best of luck in the final stage of the competition in Dubai. We have seen high levels of competition throughout the region, including in Saudi Arabia where we see a generation of avid readers that present a bright future for the Kingdom and the region as a whole.”
His Excellency also honoured all ten student finalists at the male and female levels of the competition; in total, over 629,000 students from various grades made it to the second phase of the Arab Reading Challenge in its second session. The national qualifiers where held under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and the Arab Reading Challenge team from the UAE. The arbitration was conducted for students, schools and supervisors in order to select the top ten students (for both male and female groups) in the Kingdom. Two hundred and eighty students made it to the final qualifiers in Saudi Arabia, as well as five supervisors and four schools (out of 7,792), who participated to win the title of best supervisor and best school in the Kingdom.
The Arab Reading Challenge was launched by UAE Prime Minister and Vice President and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in September 2015. It represents the largest pan-Arab reading project, and aims to promote a sustainable model for reading through an integrated system of student-supervisor follow-ups and support, as well as monetary incentives for students, supervisors and schools across the Arab World. The project hopes to instigate a cultural renaissance in the Arab World by encouraging students to read and continuously expand their knowledge.