Souhayla El Karkouri, 13 years old submission symbolizes the illumination and power of reading.
"Personally, I have found that reading is my way to relax and take my mind off of schoolwork and the pandemic in general. I think reading is such an important form of education as you can learn from so many people with different mindsets, opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Not only do you gain knowledge since every book has a deeper meaning, but you also gain creativity because of the contrasting word choice and thought process of the characters. Additionally, each book has its own lesson and meaning that the author is trying to portray, whether it is through quotes, thoughts, and actions of the characters or illustrations. In my mind, I think of reading as a way to tune out real-life struggles and situations, including this pandemic, and instead, truly feel the emotions and struggles of those in my book. Characters in books tend to have special charismas that lead them to stay determined no matter how tough their situation is. I like to correlate this to our pandemic and how we may be struggling now, but we will be able to get through it if we put in our efforts, as well as keeping a positive attitude and mindset along the way."
The image is part of the National Museum of Qatar collection. In 2020, the Museum began collecting artwork and documentation related to people's experiences of taking shelter as means to protect themselves and minimize the spread of COVID-19.