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Sheikh Mohammed's sweet gesture for varsity graduate goes viral

Staff Report
Filed on May 28, 2020
Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed posted two photos of Fatimah Al Nuaimi side by side - one of him planting a kiss on her forehead.

A New York University Abu Dhabi graduate has got a rare royal honour with none other than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeting her photos.

Sheikh Mohammed posted two photos of Fatimah Al Nuaimi side by side - one of him planting a kiss on her forehead as she won the UAE leg of the Arab Reading Challenge in 2016; and the other of her after graduating from university four years later.

He tweeted: "A kiss on the head of my daughter in 2016 for winning the Arab Reading Challenge. Yesterday, she graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi. Congratulations to my daughter Fatmah Al Nuaimi.

"With you, our country will always get better ... the country gets better by reading, and improves with knowledge."

Over 160,000 students from 828 UAE schools collectively  read 5 million books thanks to the 2016 edition of the Arab Reading Challenge.

The Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) is the largest-ever Arab literacy initiative. Launched by Sheikh Mohammed to encourage students to read, the initiative challenges students to read as many books as possible (over 50) in one academic year.

The challenge is an Arabic reading competition with participating students from Years 1 to 12 from schools across the Arab world. The competition starts every year in September until the end of March. Students work through five stages of the competition reading ten books and summarising their content in the challenge passports. Upon completion of the reading and summarising, the final stage of elimination commences according to set criteria. The eliminations are done amongst schools, education zones and Arab countries until the finals which are held annually in Dubai in October.

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