Dubai: The UAE’s young poetry performers were celebrated at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature at a special ceremony to honour the winners of the Poetry for All Competition, sponsored by Emirates NBD.
The annual competition for pupils aged 8-18 gives young people the chance to show off their oratory and performance skills with individual interpretations of favourite poems, which this year were performed in person.
Winners were chosen by a panel of poets and judges including festival poets Sara al Zain, Qasim Saudi, Mohamad al Hebsi and Eidha bin Masood for Arabic and Zeina Hashem Beck, Harry Baker, Martin Kiszko and Zolani Mkiva for the participants in English.
The Poetry for All competition attracted more than 1142 entrants in English and Arabic, which is an unprecedented number, competing across the two age group categories of the competition, 8-13 and 14-18. The 2023 edition also saw the inclusion of a separate category for Students of Determination and for Arabic the student performed both Fasih and Nabati poetry.
This is the sixth year that Emirates NBD has sponsored the competition. “Emirates NBD is delighted to be the proud sponsor of the Emirates NBD Poetry For All competition. The competition is our heartfelt contribution towards bolstering the strong tradition of poetry recitation in the country and passing the love of poetry to the next generation”, said Moadh Bukhash, Chief Marketing Officer at Emirates NBD. “The enthusiasm and passion of the participating students for this competition is palpable and reassures us that this is a cause we would like to continue to support.” He added.
1. Leah Faith Hussain, Horizon English School, Dubai
2. Nathaniel Cedmar R. Gonzales, The Philippine School, Dubai
3. Karas Ehab Seliman Eskandaar Seliman, Gems Cambridge, Sharjah
1. Varshitaa Prasad, Dubai International Academy, Dubai
2. Nareen Habibi, Al Mawakeb — Al Khawaneej, Dubai
3. Shreeyash Ramakant Pilani, Dubai Gem Private School, Dubai
8-18 Students of Determination Category
1. Ahmed Basel Ahmed, Himayah School for Boys, Dubai
2. Tavish Kishnani, Horizon English School, Dubai
3. Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Ali, Al Ittihad C3 School, Abu Dhabi
8-13 — Poetry Category:
1. Ghaya Saad Al Ahbabi, Liwa International School (girls), Abu Dhabi
2. Yasmeen Al Murr, Deira International School, Dubai
3. Hala Mujahid Haj Hussein from Al Hekma Private School (girls), Ajman
8-13 — Nabati Poetry Category:
1. Fateem Mubarak Matar Al Dawis, Jumerirah School C1, Dubai
2. Sheikha Ahmed Talib Mohammed Ahmed, Salma Ansari School C1, Dubai
3. Suhail Amer Al Amiri, Al Quaa C2, Abu Dhabi
14-18 — Poetry Category:
1. Omar Mohammed Shawki, National Charity School (Boys), Al Garhoud, Dubai
2. Hessa Skendar, Tahnoun Bin Mohammed Educational Complex (Girls), Abu Dhabi
3. Hanin Mujahid from Al Hikmah Private School (Secondary/Girls) — Al Nuaimia
14-18 — Nabati Poetry Category:
1. Shifaa Ben Haider from Al Mawakeeb School, Al Khawanej, Dubai
2. Mariam Rashid Said Ali Al Owaiq Al Shehhi, Diba Fujairah High School C3 (Girls), Fujairah
3. Bashayer Alalwi, Deira International School, Dubai
8-18 Students of Determination Category
1. Ahmed Basel Ahmed, Hemaya Boys School, Dubai
Tavish Kashanani, English Horizon School, Dubai
∙ Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Ali, Al Ittihad Private School C3, Abu Dhabi
Other initiatives celebrated at the Festival includes the Voices of Future Generations, which launches its second anthology of winning stories; the School Librarian of the Year; OUP Story Writing Competition; RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition; Chevron Reader’s Cup; Emirates LitFest Writing Prize; and the announcement of the fellow for the second year of First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.