Over 2.5 Million Students from Five Countries Compete for Top Spot in Arab Reading Competition Semi-Finals

  • Third phase of Arab Reading Challenge qualifiers kicks off in five of 15 Arab countries.

As the final rounds approach for the second Arab Reading Challenge (ARC), five out of 15 participating countries are to announce their 10 final nominees, out of more than 2.5 million participants. The Arab Reading Challenge was launched last year by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and is the largest regional reading project in the Arab World. The challenge aims to instill the habit of reading deep in the DNA of participating students and Arab youth by rewarding the most avid readers, supporting a generation of people armed with knowledge and a passion for reading.

The first five countries to close the third phase of qualifications are Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Lebanon. In all five countries the top students, supervisors and schools were nominated, competed at the municipal level, and the competition has now reached the national level.

Newly introduced this year, the ARC Diamond Round, is a competition reserved for last year’s top ten winners from each country, which challenges competitors to read 75 books within the academic year.

ARC Secretary-General Najla Al Shamsi said, “The objective of this challenge is to realise Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision to empower young Arabs with knowledge and hope, creating leaders who have diverse cultural and scientific understanding, that are able to tackle the challenges of the future.” Al Shamsi continued, “What we have seen in the second round of the competition is very promising and makes us proud; we expect ARC 2017 to reach new heights and achieve new feats.”

In Egypt, 2 million students participated in ARC this year, 27 supervisors and 11 schools were nominated, along with the top ten finalists and the finalist from last year for the ARC Diamond Round. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the third week of April, when the Minister of Education and the ARC Secretary-General will honour student finalists from both the municipal and state levels.

In Jordan, more than 360,000 students competed and the top ten were nominated for the third phase, along with 12 supervisors and 10 schools.

In Kuwait, more than 63,000 students competed, and three supervisors and five schools were nominated for the third phase; alongside the top ten finalists from last year’s competition who joined the ARC Diamond Round. The winners on the countrywide level will be announced on Monday 17 April at a ceremony to be held under the patronage of the Minister of Education, as well as the ARC Secretary-General.

In Oman, 21,000 students, 6 supervisors and one school competed. In Lebanon 14,000 students, 6 supervisors and 2 schools made it to the third-round nominations.

All participating countries will submit their final nominations, including the finalists for the ARC Diamond Round, before the end of April. At this point, each participating country will announce their top student, supervisor and school, who will represent them at the fourth and final phase of the competition.

Fifteen countries are participating in the Arab Reading Challenge 2017 – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania, as well as the UAE. ARC 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 aims to instigate a cultural renaissance in the Arab World by encouraging students to read and continuously expand their knowledge.

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