Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University honours winners of ‘Reading Knights 2020’ competition


Uniquely designed competition to enrich knowledge and promote self-learning and analytical and critical thinking

  • Mansoor Al Awar: “We are proud of the knights who carry the torch of knowledge and distinction, reflecting our wise leadership’s vision to create a civilized reading society through nurturing the culture of reading.”
  • Virtual event attracts participation of more than 2,100 attendees and 70 candidates between the ages of 9 and 65 from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) officially concluded the ‘Reading Knights 2020’ competition through a virtual ceremony held via Zoom in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of the University. The ceremony was attended by a number of academic and administrative staff and witnessed extensive participation from attendees belonging to a highly diverse age group. The event honoured the winners of the competition, which was launched by HBMSU in line with the national directives to instil a culture of reading in community members, thereby enriching knowledge within the UAE society.

Following the announcement of the winners of the Reading knights 2020 competition, they were honoured during the virtual ceremony in recognition of their hard work and excellence in preparing and presenting comprehensive reviews and objective evaluations of some of the most famous Arabic and English literary works. Most notably, these included ‘The Soft Power in the Leadership Qualities of Zayed: 110 Leadership Qualities’ authored by H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the Board of governors of HBMSU; apart from a short story titled ‘The Little Astronaut’ and research papers on excellence in quality and smart learning.

The winners of ‘Reading Knights 2020’ competition were chosen by a high-level jury headed by a group of academics at HBMSU, including Professor Ahmed Ankit, Dean of Scientific Research and Doctoral Studies; Professor Hamdy Ahmed Abdelaziz, Dean of the School of E-Education; Dr. Meera Alreyaysa, Acting Chair of Collaborative Research; and Dr. Shatha Hawarna, Assistant Professor at the School of Business and Quality Management. The winners were selected based on a set of criteria – most importantly the authenticity of the chosen topic and the extent of the candidate’s understanding of it, the quality of content, and the level of commitment to the rules and ethics of scientific research.

His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al Awar congratulated the winners of the ‘Reading Knights 2020,’ calling on them to continue reading as it is a solid approach and a key pillar to advance development. Dr. Al Awar underlined the importance of spreading the culture of reading among Emiratis and the Arab community in an effort to establish the concept of self-learning and enhance analytical and critical thinking among younger generations. This will qualify them scientifically, intellectually and innovatively to lead the growth and progress of societies. 

H.E. Al Awar said: “This competition stems from HBMSU’s commitment, in light of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University, to promote the approach of lifelong learning and advance excellence in the exchange and enrichment of knowledge through the development of learning and scientific research. These are two main pillars that can make the UAE one of the most advanced and developed countries in the world.”

His Excellency further highlighted the importance of encouraging young people to continue to be inspired from the knowledge base that is the cornerstone of the advancement of nations. Furthermore, he expressed his pride in the reading knights who carry the torch of knowledge, and distinction, thereby establishing themselves as role models for Arab youth. He added, “We are all confident that they are the driving force behind the realization of the wise leadership’s vision in creating a civilized reading society. This is because reading is the most powerful way to drive civilized development and build a knowledge-based, competitive and sustainable economy based on innovation.”

The reading knights list for the year 2020 includes Khadeegha AlZouebi from the United Kingdom and Amal Al Seqetri from the UAE within the age group of 22 years and over. They presented a research paper titled ‘Towards Blended Learning: An Investigation into the Readiness of Public Sector School Principals in Adopting Blended Learning.” Meanwhile, Alwah Haddad from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the winner within the age group of 16 and above, won the recognition for her critical and analytical study of the book ‘Soft Power in the Leadership Qualities of Zayed: 110 Leadership Qualities.’ Emirati contestant Maryam Al Teneiji was the winner from the 9-15 age group for writing the short story ‘The Little Astronaut.’

The sixth edition of the ‘Reading Knights 2020’ competition witnessed a strong competition with the participation of more than 2,100 members and 70 candidates between the ages of 9 – 65 years of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The competitions took place in three categories: 9-15 years, 16 and above, and 22 and above. Within the age group between 9 and 15 years, the participants were asked to write the most beautiful short story titled ‘The Little Astronaut,’ describing the interesting adventures during a trip to outer space. As for the participants in the age group 16 and above, they were asked to prepare a review of the book ‘Soft Power in the Leadership Qualities of Zayed: 110 Leadership Qualities’ authored by His Excellency Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim. The age group of 22 and above was asked to submit a research paper on one of the areas related to excellence in quality or smart or e-learning.

The virtual ceremony concluded with the announcement of the 2021 edition of the ‘Reading Knights’ competition, organized by the Smart Book Club at HBMSU. The initiative falls in line with national efforts to improve knowledge and stimulate innovation and creativity in younger generations. The Smart Book Club library houses many books in both Arabic and English languages in many fields, in order to promote the habit of reading in the community.