Lessons from a young champion reader

By Baraa’h Al Mujaini –

When was the last time you grabbed a book and read it completely? Or when was the last time you take on a new hobby?
The pandemic has severely affected us physically, mentally, and psychologically, yet, finding new stimulating ways to heal and rebuild ourselves is entirely in our hands.
Reading—yes reading an article, a newspaper or a book — just like other hobbies can help you significantly. Books can help us reshape our personalities, thoughts, attitudes, thinking, and understanding of life.
This has been learned at a very young age by Sama al Amriyah. At just 7-years old, she was the youngest competitor and the winner in the Arab Reading Challenge in Oman held in 2017.
While the majority of kids her age are wasting their time on social media, she put her free time into good use spending it acquiring knowledge but going through books after books.
This diligence for reading led to her always becoming 1st place in all her classes and has contributed greatly to getting amazing marks at school.
But how did a girl, barely in her teens, got so engrossed with books? What was it about reading that she’s dedicated a large portion of her childhood to it?
For Sama, it’s all about passion.
“I’ve always been fascinated with experiencing new things, about acquiring knowledge. As a result, reading became a passion,” she shared.
She said she could have spent the time going through social media and being on-trend just like her peers but for some reason, she doesn’t feel the pressures others do. Her interests were purely different and she doesn’t feel left out not knowing what’s happening in the digital world.
“Reading for me is a form of entertainment. It is time-consuming and requires focus and dedication. I have divided my time between memorising the Holy Quran, studying for school, and reading various types of books,” she said.
Sama’s accolades include winning at different levels with different awards at the Sultan Qaboos Competition for Holy Quran reading.
Observers have noted that Sama already achieved so much more than a lot of adults in their lifetime. All of these achievements, Sama said, wouldn’t have been possible without a good environment and the support of her parents.
“My family, they are always empowering me, especially my mother who was and is always beside me in every single step. And not to forget my special teacher who has been motivating me and nominated me to represent my school in the Challenges,” Sama said.
Asked what was the most difficult about joining the Arab Reading Challenge, Sama said, “The hardest was the time limit. I had to memorise the names of all authors and publishing houses of all the books I had read, besides, I was required to read 50 books within only six weeks.”
“Reading has helped me remarkably in different aspects, it exposes my mentality to a new world full of new information and secrets, it also helped me educationally to understand rapidly and easily,” she shared.
She said, “My advice to everyone is to read as much as possible, in all kinds of fields. I recommend the parents too, who are playing a vital role in shaping their kids and guide them to the right destination, to support their kids and instil in their minds the importance of reading.”
To learn more about Sama and her journey, follow her Instagram account that is being run by her mother: sama__calligraphy