20200720 hope probe uae
People watch a big screen displaying the launch of the Hope Probe from Tanegashima Island in Japan, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: The five finalists of the UAE’s #MarsShot, a global social media campaign inspired by Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe, have been shortlisted and the top three winners will be announced on August 5.

#MarsShot is the first global social media campaign of its kind, launched by the UAE in collaboration with the international actor and comedian Kevin Hart, to empower people to accomplish their dreams.

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People across the world were invited to follow @marsshotuae on Instagram and post a one-minute video highlighting their inspiring dream or wish under the #marsshot. The innovative digital campaign, inspired by the historic first Arab interplanetary mission to Mars, was aimed at motivating people across the globe to dream big and reach for the stars.

Clockwise from left: Astrid Corina, Dolly Aswani, Williamson Sintyl, Ward Taim Hassan and Reina Özbay.

The five finalists who garnered the highest online votes are  Dolly Aswani, 24, (@womanonamission_india) from India; Ward Taim Hassan, 14, (@wardhassanofficial) from Syria; Reina Özbay, 11, (@reinaozbay) from USA; Astrid Corina, 26, (@astrid.corina) from Romania; and Williamson Sintyl, 27, (@williamson_sintyl), from Haiti.

According to the organisers, the inspiring dreams of the finalists range from building a walk-in centre for reading and writing in India, to inspiring the world through music to champion the plight of human trafficking.

Entries were evaluated based on the originality, personal association with their dream, impact, message content and quality of presentation.

'Emirati message of hope'

Noura bint Mohamed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The UAE #MarsShot campaign is an Emirati message of hope to the whole world. Filled with enthusiasm, strong will, and the spirit to overcome challenges, this message reflects the UAE’s model of making its ambitious aspirations a reality.

“It is evident that the campaign presented our country’s agenda and intentions towards science and humanity. It also illustrates our efforts to help mankind turn dreams into reality to serve a greater purpose. The interaction with the campaign creates new opportunities for the younger generation, despite the difficult circumstances we go through as a result of Covid-19. We are very proud of the outcome, and we aim to continue to follow the path drawn by our leaders to spread education and maintaining hope and positivity when overcoming challenges,” she added.

Noura bint Mohamed Al Kaabi

Noura bint Mohamed Al Kaabi

Final night

The top three winners will be announced on August 5 at 9pm UAE time, during a live-streaming event hosted by Hart, who will be joined by celebrity guest judges including Jay Shetty, award-winning storyteller, podcaster, author and former monk; Sania Mirza, World Champion Indian tennis player; and Hugh Evans, humanitarian and co-founder of Global Citizen. Al Kaabi is also part of the celebrity judging panel.

During the virtual finale, each finalist will be interviewed by the celebrity judging panel, who will then select the three winners who will see their Mars Shots become a reality.

Hart said: “I am moved by all the entries and hope this has inspired people to always push forward. I am committed to empowering individuals to change their realities for the better and I could not have wished for a better partner to start this movement than The Emirates.”

“At some point we all realise we are here for a higher purpose and a bigger calling than to serve ourselves. The campaign is a testament to giving inspired individuals the tools to harness their dreams to make difference in the world, added Mirza.