Arab Reading Challenge

The Arab Reading Challenge is the region’s biggest knowledge initiative that aims to spark passion for knowledge and foster the habit of reading among the young generation in an effort to broaden horizons and boost critical, analytical and creative skills.

The Arab Reading Challenge was launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, a UAE-based foundation that combines wide-ranging humanitarian, social, development and empowerment entities and programmes.

The reading competition kicked off its first edition in the 2015-2016 academic year when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, challenged Arab school students to read and summarize 50 books a year. Since then, the Challenge has been drawing participations from millions of Arab students residing in the region and the world who stock their shelves with a diverse range of books every year, gaining knowledge and demonstrating excellent critical thinking skills and ability to engage in constructive discussions at an early age.  

The Challenge implements Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision that “reading is the first step towards a better future driven by knowledge and learning. Nations that read will lead the future.”

The Arab Reading Challenge encourages students from grade one to 12 to read in the Arabic language, promoting the use of their mother tongue in their daily lives and highlighting the aesthetics of the rich language across science, literature and other areas of study.

By introducing students to different cultures and customs through books, the Challenge seeks to highlight the importance of reading in building self-learning skills, promoting open dialogue and fostering the values of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance of differences. Reading builds enlightened and healthy minds capable of engaging with the world and driving positive change in their societies.

One Arab Reading Champion is selected after elimination stages that start at class level, then school level, proceeding to the level of the educational district, directorate or governorate, leading up to the selection of the top 10 students from each country before filtering down the national winners. In a ceremony that takes place in Dubai on October/November, finalists compete for the grand prize that leads up to the winner announcement.

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