His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan has honored the winners of the 10th edition of the Braille Read Story Award for the Blind, organised by Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), represented by its Blind Welfare Department, under the slogan Everyone Reads.
This took place during ZHO-organised ceremony held on Saturday 10 June at the Qurum Hall of Abu Dhabi Energy Center (ADEC), to announce the results of the project in its tenth edition.
His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, accompanied by His Excellency Abdullah Abdul-Ali Al-Humaidan, ZHO’s Secretary-General, and Her Excellency Naama Abdul-Rahman Al-Mansoori, Member of the Federal National Council and Director of ZHO’s Blind Welfare Department, honored the winners and handed them certificates of appreciation and prize funds. Sheikh Hazza also honored Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for supporting the closing ceremony, the award's partners and participating publishing houses.
Her Excellency Naama Abdul-Rahman Al-Mansoori extended thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his generous sponsorship of the Braille Read Story Award since its first inception in 2007, contributing to its success and sustainability, and even its spread, giving the opportunity to those wishing from all over the world to take part, and becoming a significant event that enjoys ZHO’s support and organisation and receives wide turnout and distinguished presence that embodies the event’s significance.
Her Excellency Naama Abdul-Rahman Al-Mansoori, Member of the Federal National Council and Director of ZHO’s Blind Welfare Department said: “Here we are, in the 10th edition, meeting again, feeling proud of the success that God Almighty has granted us, that we work diligently to maintain. Eying the indicators of this success through the joy and happiness of our dear participants, reinforces our determination and strengthens our steps to renew our desire and hope for one success after another”.
Al-Mansoori confirmed that the support that ZHO receives from the wise leadership, and the close follow-up of His Highness Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of ZHO’s Board of Directors, and their Excellencies, members of the Board of Directors, represent major support for the success and sustainability of the Braille Read Story Award for the Blind.
She continued sharing thanks to His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, saying: “Your presence today has a beautiful impact on our blind children from all over the world who are with us at this moment”. She also thanked the participants for their valuable contributions, and invited them for more useful reading that enhances and enriches their cultural level, and thanked the distinct team that has worked hard for the success of this event.
Participant, Omar Fayez Alamri, delivered a speech on behalf of the participants in the award across its various levels. He sincerely expressed the profound gratitude of all the participants and their appreciation for the generous sponsorship of the award since its first launch by His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It the key element for the year-by-year growing success of this wonderful initiative adopted by Her Excellency Naama Abdul-Rahman Al-Mansouri, Member of the Federal National Council and Director of ZHO’s Blind Welfare Department.
Ghaith thanked the award sponsor, His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for his generous presence and for the wonderful initiative, and his permanent sponsorship of this award, and thanked ZHO, and its Blind Welfare Department. He also thanked the families who provided all participants with support and assistance and encouraged them to participate, motivating and helping them overcome difficulties, promising to participate in the upcoming editions.
The results of the award, in its 10th edition that included the participation of 113 contestants from inside and outside the country, were announced during the ceremony. In the first level, the age group from 6 to 9 years old, 16 male and female took part. Tala Ahmad Hassan Al-Amar from Palestine ranked first, Mohammad Al-Raei Saeed Al-Raei from the United Arab Emirates ranked second, and Mahra Rashid Abdul-Qader Al-Marzouqi from the United Arab Emirates ranked third.
In the second level, the age group from 10 to 12 years old, 14 male and female students took part. Israa Ali Mohammad Al-Ameri from the United Arab Emirates ranked first, Maha Saif Al-Rashdi from the United Arab Emirates ranked second, and Aisha Mohammad Gharib Al-Yamahi from the United Arab Emirates ranked third.
In the third level, the age group from 13 to 15 years old, 18 male and female students took part. Ghaith Mohammad Salem Al-Ghafli from the United Arab Emirates ranked first, Moayad Hatem Al-Junaid from Sudan ranked second, and Sultan bin Saud Al-Maliki from Saudi Arabia ranked third.
In the fourth level, the age group from 16 to 18 years old, 23 male and female students took part. Khaleda Hatem Al-Junaid from Sudan ranked first, Noura Rashid Al-Marri from the United Arab Emirates ranked second, and Ghadir Ibrahim Nassif from Bahrain ranked third.
In the fifth level, the age group of 19 years old and above, 38 male and female students took part. Sidi Mohammad Asneeb from Mauritania ranked first, Shaima Sulaiman Al- Marzouqi from the United Arab Emirates ranked second, and Rashid Al-Marri from the United Arab Emirates ranked third.
As for the non-Arabic speaking winners, 4 male and female students took part. Ahmad Karim from Pakistan ranked first, Emily Walcher from Italy ranked second, and Abiha Ashfaq from Pakistan ranked third.
The ceremony activities included the screening of a documentary on the 10th edition of the Braille Read Story Award for the Blind under the slogan Everyone Reads, and a singing performance by the Emirati singer Hamad Al-Ameri, dedicated to participants.
During the ceremony, the event's partners were honored by awarding them shields and certificates of appreciation; Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Khalifa Award for Education, Fatima Bint Hazza Cultural Foundation, Al-Hodhud Publishing House, and Kalimat Publishing House, and writers Shaima Al-Marzouqi, Maryam Mohieddin Al-Mulla and singer Hamad Al-Ameri.
Braille Story Award for the Blind, is the first of its kind in the Arab world, aimed to enrich the culture of the blind and advance their reality by having the blind read a myriad of meaningful stories. This project won the Khalifa Award for Education in 2011 in the area of innovative educational projects and programmes across the United Arab Emirates.
The Blind Welfare Department is one of the departments of the People of Determination Sector at ZHO. It has the only printing press in the UAE that prints educational materials (educational curricula and teaching aids), cultural stories and publications for government entities in Braille for the blind. It provides services to the blind and visually impaired across the state. It was established in 2000, and on January 24th 2006, the printing press was handed over to ZHO.
The Blind Welfare Department provides a host of services related to the education of people with visual challenges at care and rehabilitation centres and integration schools statewide. These services are represented in printing educational curricula in Braille, printing examination forms and study summaries for those interested in Braille, printing outstanding educational aids, and printing cultural books and stories in Braille.
The beneficiaries of these services are the care and rehabilitation centres affiliated to the People of Determination Sector at ZHO, and other centers in the state, the care and rehabilitation centres for People of Determination affiliated to the Ministry of Community Development, and public and private integration schools affiliated to the Ministry of Education in all educational districts in the state. The services of the Blind Welfare Department also benefit all students, teachers, parents of the blind and visually impaired, as well as the sighted.