Five students have reached the finals of the 2018 Arab Reading Challenge, the largest-ever Arab reading initiative organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) foundation. Image Credit: MBRGI

Dubai: Five students out of 10.5 million students have reached the finals of the 2018 Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) and will compete for the title of the champion on Tuesday, it was announced.

The winner of the third edition of the competition will be crowned on October 30 at an awards ceremony at Dubai Opera.

The closing ceremony of the largest-ever Arab reading initiative organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) will also include an award for outstanding school and outstanding supervisor, with cash prizes totalling Dh11 million (more than US$3 million).

This edition drew the participation of 10.5 million students from the Arab region and worldwide.

“This year’s edition of the Arab Reading Challenge has gained a global dimension with the inclusion of community literacy champions residing outside the Arab world in response to the directive of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who launched the initiative three years ago,” said Najla Al Shamsi, secretary general of the ARC.

Some 44 students, who were the national winners of the challenge, participated in the two-day semi-final qualifying rounds on October 27 and 28 at the School of Research Science in Al Warqa across two categories – the Arab world and Arab communities residing in non-Arab countries.

Ali Al Sha’ali, president of ARC Jury, said: “Over the past two days, all the contestants have demonstrated exceptional calibre and excellent potential in terms of know-how, ability of expression, critical thinking and discussion based on logic and facts.”

The list of finalists from the Arab world includes Noran Abdul Rauof Al Beloushi from Bahrain, Zahra Mansour Al Shammari from Kuwait, Malak Bint Hareb Al Gafaria from Oman, Rola Hussain Mehdi from Lebanon, Khalil Amin Ebrahim from Al Azhar and Mariam Yousuf from Egypt.

Meanwhile, Majd Al Sa’adi from Finland and Ahmad Abdul Salam Dakouri from Canada will represent Arab communities outside the Arab region in the finals.

Al Shamsi said the competition seeks to spark an Arab knowledge and scientific renaissance “through opening the Arab world to global knowledge resources, broadening its horizons, and enabling convergence between ideas, values and experiences through promoting active reading habits among the emerging Arab generations within and outside the Arab world.”

The champion will receive Dh500,000 as an award while the outstanding School will receive Dh1 million. The Outstanding Supervisor walks away with Dh300,000.

Online voting for the Outstanding School via www.arabreadingchallenge.com has been open to the public around the world since Friday, October 26, and will continue until 9am on Tuesday, October 30.

Launched in 2015, the Arab Reading Challenge aims to establish a culture of reading among the new Arab generations across the globe, and highlight the importance of knowledge in shaping their future as well as the future of their communities and countries.