#PowerOfHope: Meet bright kid who works hard to save his family from hunger

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, Power of Hope, UAE, Syria, Jordan, Mohannad Al Masri, Arab Reading Challenge

Dubai - Life's hardships did not stop this boy from pursuing his favourite hobby - reading.


A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 20 May 2020, 11:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 May 2020, 2:12 AM

What is the price of a smile? Now multiply that by 71 million. For, that's the number of lives that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives touched and transformed in 2019. It is more than just a cold statistic; it is the number of sighs of relief, tears of joy and stories of gratitude from around the world. In this series, Khaleej Times showcases eight people whose lives MBRGI changed last year through the power of hope. Part 3 of an 8-part series
Mohannad Al Masri was born in Syria and raised in Jordan in a family of seven. His father was unable to work due to a chronic, life-threatening heart condition, leaving Mohannad responsible for supporting his family.
To save his family from hunger and homelessness, Mohannad's only choice was to make plaster moulds for work during the day and attend school in the evenings. He often had to return to work after his night classes to make additional income that could secure food and medication for his family.
Despite his rough living conditions, Mohannad excelled as one of the top students at Mohyi Al Din Bin Arabi Primary School for Boys. Life's hardships also did not stop him from pursuing his favourite hobby - reading. Books were a refuge that wiped away the day's fatigue, transporting him to worlds where knowledge and joy knew no limits.
Mohannad participated in the fourth edition of the Arab Reading Challenge (2018/2019). He impressed the jury with his wit, optimism and smile, which hid life's worries and burdens.
The plaster under Mohannad's nails and the ash on his palms tell the story of his difficult life, but they also tell the story of a boy who refused to be anything less than a knight in shining armour at the Arab Reading Challenge.
The largest literacy initiative in the Arab world aimed to promote reading as a lifestyle among the youth, the ARC's fourth edition (2018/2019 academic year) attracted 13.5 million students from 67,000 schools in 49 countries. It distributed prizes valued at more than Dh11 million to the winning students, schools and supervisors.
In 2019, the MBRGI's spending on education and knowledge projects totalled Dh335 million, benefitting around 45 million people all over the world.

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