Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
For the first time since the inception of the Arab Reading Challenge (ARC), audiences across the Arab world will get a peek on the semi-finals in a journey documented through an entertaining TV show.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) announced on Wednesday that 16 young semi-finalists, selected from the 13.5 million participants of the ARC’s 4th edition, will be seen in a close interaction with a notable panel of judges as they undergo a rigorous evaluation process to qualify for the finals and compete for the grand title: the Arab Reading Champion.
The eight-week Arab Reading Challenge TV Show, set to be broadcast on the MBC channel starting Sept.27, will document the daily journey of 16 contestants from 14 countries for the first time through a series of edutainment challenges and competitions that assess their choice of books, comprehension of texts they read throughout the academic year, analytical and problem-solving skills, confidence and ability to communicate accurately in Arabic.
Details of the first-of-its-kind show, filmed in a reality TV format, were unveiled during a press briefing and tour at the “Arab Reading Challenge House” in Dubai, a location specifically designed to film the engaging and entertaining evaluation stages that will narrow down contestants to five finalists. The show’s final episode will broadcast live the final award ceremony, which will declare the Arab Reading Champion at Dubai Opera in November.
The weekly show will provide a closer behind-the-scenes look on the evaluation stages of the young semi-finalists in a new innovative style that engages audiences across the Arab world.
Viewers will get the opportunity to follow the performance and progress of 16 national winners selected across the Arab world through the semi-finals round.
The contestants will also take part in different educational activities and workshops to enrich their reading habits and encourage them to take up their pursuit of knowledge as a lifestyle.
Standing ahead of a panel of judges comprising notable literary figures in the Arab world, the young contestants will be tested on the diversity of books selected and their ability to communicate their ideas and apply gained knowledge on real grounds.
Besides presenting an entertaining and innovative competition, the TV show aims to highlight young readers, showcasing their determination and persistence as they bear the fruits of their year-long efforts.
Broadcasting a TV show aims to demonstrate the impact of the ARC in developing the young minds through instilling the culture of reading in future generations who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Assistant Secretary General of MBRGI Saeed Al Eter said, “In four years, the Arab Reading Challenge has transformed into a widespread reading phenomenon. We wanted to invite the Arab public to join their children in every step of the journey towards the winner’s announcement in a first-of-its-kind television show that presents a unique edutainment experience.”
He added that the show provides an added value to Arabic television through bringing forward young readers often seen delving into their books behind closed doors with no recognition. “They do not carry the traditional sense of stardom, but they are our real heroes. The Arab Reading Challenge presents them to the Arab world with immense pride.”
The show, he noted, aims to transform the challenge into a journey that promotes healthy competition and inspires the Arab youth, wherever they are, to join the widespread Arab literacy initiative.
Secretary General of the ARC Muna Al Kindi said, “Over eight weeks, millions of Arab viewers will experience moments of joy, pride and tears as they watch models of the future generations take part in the Arab world’s largest-ever literacy initiative.”
Director General of MBC TV Group Ali Jaber noted, “The MBC Group’s vision goes in line with MBRGI’s vision to spread hope and bring a positive change across the Arab world through adopting different knowledge, cultural and humanitarian projects and initiatives.”
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The “Arab Reading Challenge” TV show is all set to go on air on Friday on MBC1 as millions of viewers can tune in for the first episode at 9pm (UAE timing). The first-of-its kind reality show will air every Friday, as 16 semi-finalists from 14 countries compete over eight episodes to become the Arab Reading Champion 2019.
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