Abu Dhabi: Voluntary group Palestinian Social Committee (PSC), or Al Bayyara (meaning green land in Arabic), is organising a short story competition for school students that aims to highlight the importance of Al Quds (Jerusalem) to the Palestinian nation.

The competition is open to all students of private and public schools across the UAE and the world. Participants must be between 12 to 23 years of age.

Agreements to organise the competition were signed by representatives of the PSC and the Ministry of Education in both the UAE and Palestine.

Students who finish among the first 15 in the competition will each receive Dh15,000 worth of prizes but the main objective of the competition is to raise awareness about the importance of Al Quds in Palestine by highlighting its culture, history and archaeological sites.

"We want to unite and encourage all children of the world, especially young Palestinians who live abroad and don't know much about Al Quds, to do some research on the culture, history and beauty of Al Quds so that it remains unforgotten.

"With everything that happened recently, a lot has been forgotten about Palestine; it's always good to change that," said Abdul Moez Ouda, one of the founders of the PSC.

Earlier, the PSC, in an effort to raise funds for its pet project as well as for other activities, approached 70 companies in the UAE for Dh30.

"The money we received we spent on various activities such as the competition we are launching now, which is for the sake of our future generations," Ouda said.

Nationality is not a bar to participating in the competition and the entries must be between four and eight pages in Arabic or English.

A committee of four judges was formed to shortlist the top 15 entries.

The deadline for submitting entries is April 30.

"This is the first time we are having this kind of competition and we feel it crucial to help enhance the knowledge of youngsters about Al Quds and have Palestinians sympathise with their brothers and sisters living in Palestine. It will help unite youngsters and keep alive the memory of Al Quds as a beautiful country. Lately people have started associating images of war and destruction with Al Quds, which isn't good," concluded Ouda.

Registration: Online application

If you are interested in registering for the short story competition about Al Quds you may fill out an application form through www.albayyara.com or contact the Palestinian Social Committee (PSC), located at the Palestinian Embassy. The PSC telephone number is 02-44-33755. The group can also be reached on the mobile number 050-41-55940.