The event was attended by Minister of Education and Higher Education and Secretary General of the Supreme Education Council HE Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi, RasGas CEO Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi and Qatar University President Dr Sheikha al-Misnad.
The event was hosted by RasGas, the Supreme Education Council, Maktaba Qatar (Maktaba) and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP).
Children, aged between five and ten years, and their teachers, from independent schools across Qatar, came together to break the Guinness World Record, previously held by the US with 451 children participating in one reading lesson.
With public engagement at the heart of the event, participants took part in an hour-long reading lesson based on the BQFP-published Arabic language children’s title Anger, written by Sarah Medina.
HE al-Hammadi is flanked by al-Misnad (right) and al-Mohannadi
as they display the new Guinness World Records certificate.
Following the hugely successful interactive session, a Guinness World Records official announced the record breaking success.
HE Dr al-Hammadi said: “Promoting the Arabic language is one of the main priorities we have when developing our curricula at the Supreme Education Council, as per the directives of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. So it is our duty to support all the initiatives aiming at reinstating our precious language, whether in writing, reading or spelling. SEC’s interest in the Arabic language is manifested in many initiatives and activities, especially National Arabic Spelling Competition which will be held next month, for the third year in a row.”
He also congratulated RasGas, Maktaba Qatar and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing for this achievement, and further invited other companies to incorporate pioneering educational initiatives within their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
“The Supreme Education Council is always ready to discuss any creative ideas to enhance education at all levels,” he said.
RasGas CEO al-Mohannadi said the event was historic and “brought together children from all walks of life to instill a love for reading from an early age. The event truly reinforces our commitment to create a sustainable and positive impact on the community by supporting education, and fostering a passion for learning that extends beyond the traditional classroom. We should all be very proud of what we have achieved today.”
The initiative coincided with Unesco’s annual World Book Day (WBD), which is marked on April 23 to promote reading, publishing and copyright.