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Sheikh Abdullah rewards UAE's highest achieving pupils

ABU DHABI // The most academically gifted pupils in the country were rewarded for their hard work at a ceremony at the Emirates Palace hotel on Wednesday.

One hundred and fifty high achievers from public schools received certificates from Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Best Achievers Awarding Ceremony

There was jubilation at the ceremony, organised by Abu Dhabi Education Council, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Presidential Affairs, as many of the youngsters had fought against the odds to succeed.

One of the winners, Khadija Salem Al Abdouli, 17, suffered cancer a few years ago which led to visual impairment.

The Emirati had wanted to study science when she started secondary school but was transferred to arts.

So she learnt to study by using a Braille machine and books with larger print.

“I study a lot because I want to forget the illness. When I study I don’t feel tired,” said Khadija, from Fujairah.

She scored 98.4 in her exams, making her the highest-graded student with special needs.

Khadija will be attending Al Ain University next year to study psychology.

Hajar Al Ktefan, scored the highest mark for a female pupil, with 99.9.

“My achievement and result is not just my own effort. It’s like a gift from Allah and He helped when I was studying,” Hajar said.

The Al Andalus Private Academy pupil achieved full marks in all her subjects, except English where she scored 99.3.

She has been offered a scholarship to study medicine at UAE University.

“I’m more interested in research and would like to work in rare areas,” said the 18-year-old Syrian, who lives in Al Ain.

Sara Al Mazrouei, an 18-year-old Emirati, averaged 99.1 in her exams.

“Everyone congratulated me and I felt the love from all the people,” she said.

She put her excellent scores down to a disciplined approach to work.

“I believe in not wasting any time. I prepared myself beforehand. Sometimes it was tough and I cried, but it was worth it,” Sara said.

She said physics was the toughest subject for her,

“Family support was essential and they gave me my own room and helped me,” Sara said.

She now plans to study biomedical engineering at Khalifa University.

“My goal is to be a good citizen but I aim to be a minister one day.”

Ahmed Abdelmonin, a 17-year-old from Sharjah, scored 99.7 in his exams.

“I didn’t expect to be a topper. This was a surprise. My parents were very, very happy, especially my mother,” said Ahmed, who is from Sudan.

“I want to study medicine at University of Sharjah and I’m hoping to get a scholarship.

“Studying hard and believing in your own abilities is very important.”

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(via The National)