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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai crowned Palestinian student Afaf Raed Sharif, the winner of the second edition of Arab Reading Challenge
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Afaf Raed was announced the 2017 laureate, outshining more than seven million Arab contenders who were vying for the coveted prize of $150,000. $100,000 of which will go to her university education and $50,000 to his family for their encouragement.
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The top 20 were also awarded and honoured with rewards in the challenge that gave away Dh11 million worth of prizes.
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While the challenge attracted 3.59 million students in 2016, it saw double the participation this year with over 7.4 million students, 75,000 supervisors from 41,000 schools in 25 countries.
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Six schools made it to the finals where $3 million worth of prizes were awarded to finalists and winners.
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During the event, Sheikh Mohammed announced the challenge to be a global challenge, where he invited the Arab diaspora to join the next edition of the challenge. “We want to gather all Arabs from around the world in the Arab Reading Challenge,” His Highness said. “The Arab Reading Challenge unveiled the passion of our kids with reading.. We are a the nation of Reading... And it actually does read.”
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Launched in September 2015, The Arab Reading Challenge became the largest pan-Arab project that aims for a million students in the Arab region to read 50 million books a year.
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His Highness expressed his pride of the success of the challenge; he further said that when more than 7 million person participate in the challenge, we know that we are on the right track. “The real winner is the Arab World and the Arab youth who is equipped with the power of knowledge and books,” he added.