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9-Year-Old Girl Wins $136,000 Prize in the Arab Reading Challenge


This week, little Maryam Amjoun beat around 10.5 million students from 44 countries to the prize of AED 500,000 for this year’s Arab Reading Challenge. The emotional moment was captured when the 9 year old became overwhelmed by her victory after being awarded the top prize at the literacy competition, which took place at Dubai Opera.
 


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid - image via albayan.ae

The 9 year old was comforted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who handed her the award, when she broke down and he wiped her tears of joy away with his ghutra, gaining a heartwarming reaction from across social media. Cradling the young winner, Amjoun, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai shared a glimpse of his affectionate and warm personality.


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid - image via albayan.ae

The Arab Reading Challenge is in its third year and is the largest Arab literacy initiative in the world. The challenge encourages students across the Arab region to read more. Candidates were shortlisted and those who made the cut were put to the test and quizzed by a jury panel on their knowledge, communication skills and ability to convey their thoughts in an articulate manner. Nine year old Moroccan participant, Maryam Amjoun, won the competition through her confidence, knowledge, eloquence and communication with the jury.

Other prizes included a cash prize of AED 1 million for the Outstanding School award, which was won by the Al-Ikhlas School from Kuwait, while Saudi Arabian Aisha Al-Tuwairqi won the Outstanding Supervisor title and a cash prize of AED 300,000 for being an inspiration to her students. French Tasneem Eidi was named Outstanding Student from Arab Communities Residing in Non-Arab Countries and walked away with AED 100,000.

HH Sheikh Mohammed said at the event, “Books are the source of ideas and values for the next generations. A generation that reads is a promising one, and a nation that reads is one that invests in the future. Reading creates global citizens who care deeply about making the world a better place.”

The Emirati royal also spoke fondly about the Arab Reading Challenge’s finalists and winners, stating that they are “role models for millions of Arab students. A river starts with many drops, and the participants of the Arab Reading Challenge are the first drops in the river of knowledge that we look forward to discovering in every corner of the Arab world and beyond. We rely on the reading champions to help us build a knowledge-based future for the region.”

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