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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crowns Winners of the 2016 Arab Reading Challenge


  • Algerian Mohammed Farah Jallood Named Champion of Arab Reading Challenge 2016
  • Palestinian School Receives One Million Dollars in Prize Money
  • Three out of 3.5 million contestants across region vie for ultimate honors in final round of competition at Dubai Opera

Dubai-UAE – October 24, 2016: In a specular award ceremony hosted at Dubai Opera and attended by more than 1,500 distinguished guests, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, crowned the winners of the 2016 Arab Reading Challenge. Seven year old Mohammed Jallood from Algeria was declared winner of the top prize of US$150,000, while Palestinian-based Talaie’ Al-Amal School was awarded one million dollars for emerging as the school that displayed the highest degree of excellence in challenge.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also honored the top 18 students and national finalists from around the Arab World who participated in the pre-final stages of the competition that took place in Dubai.

In his address to the audience, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed expressed his joy in witnessing the unique award ceremony. He said, “A reading nation creates generations that inherit wellness, forgiveness and righteousness. Such a nation faces challenges with hope, perseverance, and determination. A reading generation will be able to build, create and interact positively with their surroundings and the world”.

b19a255494fb5617_orgHis Highness further emphasised that the Arab Reading Challenge is the UAE’s message to the world that knowledge, education and thought have always been, and will remain, the weapon of choice for Arabs: “The Arab world does not face a reading crisis but rather an incentive crisis. We wish to create a positive and collaborative environment in which education officials and parents work together to encourage our children to read and develop a passion for knowledge to expand their horizons.”

Expressing pride in the achievements of the young participants in the competition, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “Today we celebrate not just one winner but 3.5 million winners throughout the Arab world. We hope that next year we will surpass those numbers and draw the participation of more than seven million students in this reading challenge.”

He added: “The Arab Reading Challenge brought out the best in our Arab youth, demonstrating their determination and perseverance. Every book that our young people read enriches their minds, benefits their societies and assures a better future for their respective nations. In this challenge, we witnessed a generation that exceeded our expectations and proved to us that our future will be built by young people equipped with knowledge, diligence and creativity.”

Speaking on the importance of the Arab Reading Challenge initiative, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed noted that children representing 54 nationalities from 21 countries worked together to participate in a single cultural and knowledge-based project which has served millions of students. He said: “This is a message that Arabs across countries can come together to work to drive positive change. We have in the Arab World immense potential, great minds and promising generations that we believe will create a better future for us, in this nation and throughout the region.”

Mohammed Jallood from Algeria emerged as the champion of the Arab Reading Challenge after facing off stiff competition from Roa Hammod from Jordan and Wala’ Al Baqqali from Bahrain. In their final delivery before an audience of some 1,500 spectators, the three finalists displayed their eloquence, oratory skills, and comprehension.  Results were based on audience voting and grading of a specially instituted jury panel comprising Hanan Al Hroub, the Palestinian teacher who was awarded the Best Teacher of the World Award last March; Dr. Abdullah Al Maglouth, writer and journalist from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Sultan Al Omaimi, poet, author and critic from the UAE and director of the Arab Poetry Academy of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).


The Arab Reading Challenge is a comprehensive year-round competition, which requires students from participating schools to read and summarize at least 50 extra-curricular books during every academic year. It aims at promoting reading as a core habit for youth in the region, contributing as a result to the building generations that are enlightened, intellectual, and tolerant.

The first of its kind pan-Arab contest, the 2016 Arab Reading Challenge attracted 3.5 million participants from 54 nationalities. Over 60,000 teachers and 30,000 schools from 21 countries took part in the contest which offered $3 million in awards, bursaries and educational resources to winning students and schools.

The Arab Reading Challenge aims to instill the culture of reading and build a new generation of knowledgeable, educated Arab youth. The first edition of the contest was supported by ministries of education in the participating countries.


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