Saudi twins take world by storm at international arithmetic competition

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Time: March 06, 2019  

Twins Emad, left, and Muath Al-Amoudi. (Supplied/Photo)
  • Muath Al-Amoudi: My mother could not hide her feelings of happiness and she burst into tears

JEDDAH: When it comes to mental arithmetic Saudi twins Emad and Muath Al-Amoudi have it all worked out.

The gifted brothers have just taken the world by storm in beating off more than 9,000 other youngsters to come first and second in a major international mathematics contest.

The 7th graders at Makkah-based Sheikh Abdullah Khayat Intermediate School took part in the 23rd UCMAS Abacus and Mental Arithmetic International Competition, held at the International Islamic University in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Emad won first prize in level 2 of the competition, while Muath came second in the level-1 category.

“I have been training on mental calculation in a UCMAS training program for nearly six years,” Emad told Arab News. “The program is divided into eight levels, and the higher you go, the more difficult it becomes. I did the second level perfectly.”

Emad said he had not expected to win the contest, which attracted entrants from 83 countries. “Last year there were 5,000 contestants, and so this year I wondered how I could compete with such a large number of participants. I didn’t believe my capabilities could be compared to theirs.”

He added that the support of his family had given him the courage and self-confidence to succeed. “My mother accompanied us to Malaysia. When we arrived at Kuala Lumpur, I knew that there were 9,000 taking part in this year’s competition. My mother reassured me and Muath, saying we were no less than them and that we could make it.”

Muath said that coming runner-up in his category had motivated him to go for top spot in the next competition. “I had a tough competition, especially with the presence of competitors from India, Iran, Japan and Malaysia,” he added.

The most emotional moment of the event for Muath was when he saw his brother on stage waving the Saudi flag.

“It was a touching moment. I felt like I needed to kiss the soil of my country. My mother could not hide her feelings of happiness, and she burst into tears,” he said.

The UCMAS program, which develops the mental power of children from an early age, was established in October 1993 and now has a global network of more than 5,000 centers across 55 countries.

This article was first published in Arab News

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