Minister of Education Said Amzazi has received Mariam Amjoun, who won the 2018 Arab Reading Challenge at a ceremony honoring her.
Rabat – The 9-year-old prodigy Mariam Amjoun is “a source of pride for Morocco and for the Moroccan schools,” the minister said Friday.
Amjoun’s dedication to reading at the international contest of the “Challenge of Arabic reading” will allow Moroccans to “regain confidence in the education system,” said Amzazi.
Amjoun returned to Morocco Friday from Abu Dhabi.
The young bookworm won an MAD 1.3 million in prize money. She outperformed 10.5 million participants from 40 countries.
Amzazi also hoped that the next reading contest will have other young Moroccan participants who will represent Morocco with dignity and honor, Maghreb Arab Press reported.
During the ceremony, Amjoun said she was “very happy to win the prestigious Arabic reading contest.” She said her parents, both teachers, mainly deserve the merit award she received.
King Mohammed VI also phoned Amjoun to congratulate her for winning the prize in Dubai.
Amjoun said King Mohammed VI asked her about her “experience in the competition and the challenges” she faces in prestigious reading competitions.
Despite her young age, Amjoun said that she has read 200 books and participated in the challenge with 60 books.
She advised Arab children to read “because reading is the ‘lighthouse of civilization.’”
The Dubai competition “is the largest-ever Arab literacy initiative encouraging students to read as many books as possible, over 50, in one academic year,” wrote Gulf News.
The number of children participating this year increased by 26 percent since 2017, from 7.4 million to 10.5 million participants from 44 countries.
Sheikh Mohammad launched the the Arab Reading Challenge in 2015. The challenge aims to “establish a culture of reading among the new Arab generations across the globe,” and enhance “the importance of knowledge in shaping their future as well as the future of their communities and countries.”