March also marks the end of the Arab Reading Challenge – an initiative that hopes to get children to read 50 Arabic books over the course of one academic year… 

Following a successful Year of Reading in 2016, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai declared that every March would be an annual month of reading.

And this year is no exception.

The Ruler of Dubai took to Twitter to announced his pride at receiving an impressive number of participants for the Arab Reading Challenge, one of the largest-ever Arab literacy initiatives now in it’s the fourth year running.

A video that accompanies the Arabic tweet on the Dubai ruler’s Twitter shows the 2018 Year of Reading award ceremony with Sheikh Mohammed handing out awards to winners.

The girl at the end of the video, who had her tears wiped away by the Dubai ruler, is Mariam Amjoun, a nine-year-old Moroccan who was declared the Arab reading champion of 2018 and received Dh500,000 in cash.

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In a speech congratulating the contenders and winners during last year’s awards, Sheikh Mohammed said: “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.”

The Arab Reading Challenge is an educational initiative that aims to have child participants from the Arab world, aged eight to 18 (that’s year one all the way through to 12) read a minimum of 50 Arabic books over the course of one academic year.

They will then be tested on their understanding of the texts.

The competition starts every year in September until the end of March, where students from the Arab world work their way through a set of eliminations held first in their own class, followed by their own schools, then ducation zones, and country. The selected participants then head to the finals that are held in Dubai in October.

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