A nine-year-old Moroccan girl on Tuesday won $136,000 (120,000 euros) in an Arabic-language reading competition organised by the Dubai government.
Maryam Amjoun beat 16 other finalists all aged under 18 from across the Arab world to land the top prize in the third annual Arab Reading Challenge.
Organisers said that this year’s literacy initiative — in which competitors have to read at least 50 books to qualify — saw “10.5 million students from the Arab region and worldwide” take part.
The Al-Ikhlas school, in Kuwait, won a $270,000 prize for the best reading initiatives for students.
Aisha al-Tuwairqi, from Saudi Arabia, won the title of Outstanding Reading Supervisor and took home $82,000, while Tasneem Eidi, from France, was recognised for her reading efforts in non-Arab countries and won $27,000.
Last year, 17-year-old Palestinian high school student Afaf Raed Sharif won first prize.