iRead Winners get awarded by Aramco President and CEO on their 7th edition

iRead competition winners were lauded on Saturday, 25th June 2022. It was held under the patronage of the President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Engineer Amin bin Hassan Al-Nasser, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

iRead Winners get awarded by Aramco President and CEO on their 7th edition

As a proud patron of the competition Amin Al-Nasser expressed his appreciation to the students who put in their heart and soul to participate in such an intellectual event. He also went on to explain on why the iRead competition came into existence. “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. 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.”

In order to leave a footprint on the Arab cultural landscape, the iRead competition will expand to include all readers from the Arab countries by the next edition. Al-Nasser also added that he is looking forward to celebrating the Nobel Prize being awarded for Literature to a Saudi Author in the near future and that the competition will serve as an aid to help Arabs achieve that.

We also had Hussain Hanbazazah, the Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for the World Culture (Ithra) expressing his pride in the participants and winners of the competition. Since the inception of the competition since 2013, the participating has exceeded 75k readers. Now that is some number!

What is Ithra?

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture or ‘Ithra’ is one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential cultural institutions. It’s a place where challenging perspectives meet creativity and transformative ideas. Through a variety of impactful programs, Ithra aims to inspire and enrich. Ithra is truly a place for all generations to enjoy and explore the human potential of hearts and minds.

Ithra seeks to develop programs on an annual basis to make room for more bibliophiles and encourage those who are not, to imbibe the values that are so integral in the culture. Ithra’s library so far has had more than 1 million visitors since its founding!

His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turki Aldakhil also conducted a speech at the ceremony titled: "Not to suffer the harshest forms of deprivation,” highlighting the juxtaposition of diving into the world of books and the difficult yet exciting mission of discussing them, which takes a huge place in the landscape of Arab scholars, philosophers, poets and writers.

List of winners

Shahd Al-Qaisum was awarded the Reader of the Year by the audience.
Other winners were also announced and their names are as follows:
Khazina Al Shammari
Khuloud Al Anzi
Maha Al Omari
Munira Al Hwaidi – Winner of ‘Translation Ambassador’
Wijdan Al Widyani – Winner of ‘Translation Ambassador’
Marwan Al Rasheed – Winner of ‘Translation Ambassador’

Zainab Al Nasser emerged as the winner for the Young Readers track, and the jury chose Mohammad Al Khalifa after he met all the needed criteria.

Congratulations to all the winners and we pray that such an initiative keeps excelling and expanding!