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Saudi women smash world record in Global Mental Literacy

A cheerful audience of students and faculty celebrated the groundbreaking achievement at the university campus

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In an attempt to be the first institution in the Arab world to mark the Global Mental Literacy world record, 1,380 students and faculty members in Dar Al Hekma University filled the campus auditorium recently, joining the session instructed by the invited guest Dr. Manahel Thabet.

Dr. Thabet is a holder of three PhDs and the youngest winner of Woman of the Year 2000 from Woman Federation for World Peace. In 2013 Dr. Thabet won Genius of the Year 2013 by the World Genius Directory representing Asia. She currently serves as the vice chancellor and vice chairman of the board of Britain-based The Gifted Academy.

Mind mapping, a technique invented by the renowned educational consultant Tony Buzan, is a method to capture thoughts into visual form to help solve problems more effectively by thinking outside the box.

According to Dr. Thabet, mind maps enhance performance, memory and creativity. President of Dar Al-Hekma University Dr. Suhair Hassan Al-Qurashi said the goal of the initiative was to change “how to teach” instead of “what to teach” in order to produce more creative and critical thinkers.

After 30 minutes of mind mapping and 90 minutes of reviewing in the jam-packed hall, Chris Day, general secretary of the World Memory Sports Council, announced Dr. Thabet’s record of evaluating each mind map in 3 seconds.

A cheerful audience of students and faculty celebrated the groundbreaking achievement at the university campus for training in how to create mind maps in just 2 hours.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Dr. Thabet said: “The experience was amazing and wonderful. It was something very challenging but the students were very cooperative and the event was very organized”.

She added, “I thank Dar Al-Hekma for adopting such a global initiative to help spread the awareness of creativity and the awareness of adapting methods to enhance the mental performance”.

“I was really honored, privileged, and thrilled today to be the one leading this initiative and to be the one breaking the global record with the assistance of DAH students and the help of the faculty and the board of directors.”

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 2, 2015.