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Al-Nasser with the winners

iRead competition to expand to all Arab countries

DHAHRAN, June 26, 2022

iRead competition, a flagship programme at the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra), will expand to include all readers from all Arab countries in its next edition, which will leave a footprint on the Arab cultural landscape.
 
This was announced by the President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Engineer Amin bin Hassan Al-Nasser, who crowned the winners of the 7th iRead competition. Shahd Al-Qaisum was voted by the audience as the reader of the year.
 
“We live in a rapidly developing world which faces challenges that require innovative and creative thinking abilities, as well as communication and cooperation, to build a better future for humanity. Our wise leadership, which launched unprecedented positive and pioneering transformations within the framework of Vision 2030, finds no limits to aspirations, especially among youth. 
 
Human capital greatest wealth
“We, at Aramco, believe that our greatest wealth is not oil and gas, but human capital, and we seek to contribute effectively to building the future within the company's strategy to achieve growth, prosperity, and sustainability. Therefore, the iRead competition was launched to stimulate knowledge and the spirit of intellectual exploration to fuel the human mind,” Al-Nasser said as he congratulated the winners and participants.
 
Al-Nasser also hoped that Saudi Arabia would celebrate the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to a Saudi author in the future, and that the iRead competition will play a huge role in that achievement.
 
Long journey
The ceremony hosted a large gathering of intellectuals and writers, who were briefed on the long journey in which the winners traversed throughout the competition. The ceremony also honoured those who won the titles of “The Reader of the Year,” “Reading Ambassador,” and “Translation Ambassador”.
 
Hussain Hanbazazah, the Director of Ithra, expressed his utmost pride in the participants and winners of the competition, which has witnessed rapid development since its inception in 2013, as well as an increase in the number of participants which exceeded 75,000 readers. 
 
Noting that Ithra seeks to develop the programme on an annual basis, especially after it has become international, so that more bibliophiles can have the opportunity to join. 
 
Protective shield
Hanbazazah also added that reading is one of the protective shields of the Arabic language, and that it is purely a tool of human development that contributes to thought innovation through various streams of Arabic literature. The competition played role in promoting knowledge and raising awareness by encouraging the youth to compete. 
 
He praised the role that Ithra seeks to play in promoting aspects of culture and consolidating the pillars of reading, through its library, which has received more than one million visitors since the centre’s inception.
 
The Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the UAE, Turki Aldakhil quoted Scottish writer, Arthur Conan Doyle, who said: "The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods". Only those who lived it realise it. Deprivation has many faces, but the most painful is the depravation of the pleasure of reading, he said.
 
A sweeping victory
The panel of judges also announced the names of the winners of the reading ambassadors, as follows:
●Khazina Al Shammari
●Khuloud Al Anzi
●Maha Al Omari
And the winners of the translation ambassadors:
●Munira Al Hwaidi
●Wijdan Al Widyani
●Marwan Al Rasheed
 
The panel also announced Zainab Al Nasser as the winner of the Young Readers track, while the jury chose Mohammad Al Khalifa after he met all the needed criteria.-- TradeArabia News Service
 



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