AL AIN // A local school has shown that language does not have to be a barrier to understanding culture. The Al Ain English Speaking School organised an Islamic knowledge competition this week, in which 66 pupils competed - including eight from the school. "Our students are just as capable in Islamic studies as any other school," said Feras al Tahaineh, the school's head of Islamic studies. He created the contest that pitted students from his school against pupils from 14 Arab schools. He hopes to make the contest an annual event.
Mr al Tahaineh, 35, from Jordan, was right to be confident - four of the 20 winners were from the Al Ain English Speaking School, where only 20 per cent of pupils are Arabs and courses are taught in English. "Because Al Ain English Speaking School is in an Arab country it gives great importance to religion and culture as much as any Arabic school." Speaking at the Al Ain English Speaking School on Tuesday, Noura al Rashidi, the deputy director of the Educational Zone, said she was impressed that an international school was holding such a competition.
Mohammed bin Dhaher, 13, an Emirati student at the Al Ain school, took part in the competition and got 49 out of 50 questions correct. "Some of the questions were really difficult," he said. "Even my parents didn't know all the answers. I had to do a lot of research, so through this competition I learnt a lot about my religion. It was fun competing for the top marks with kids from other schools." Twenty students answered 49 questions correctly and won a digital radio Quran that operates in 25 different languages.