Dubai: The winners of the Art of Zayed competition were announced on Sunday at an award ceremony at the Emirates Towers’ Youth Hub.
The competition, which was launched earlier this year, aimed to commemorate the life achievements of the inspirational Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, by honouring his legacy and vision for prosperity, tolerance, and peace through art, music, and poetry.
The competition was organised by PepsiCo, in partnership with Emirates Foundation, the national organisation set up by the Abu Dhabi Government to facilitate public-private funded initiatives for the empowerment of youth across the UAE.
The works of the 10 finalists was showcased at the award ceremony before the winners were selected under the three categories- art, music, and poetry.
Bwader Al Hassan, from Sudan, was announced as the winner of the art category for her submission titled ‘Second Life of Oysters’. The piece was a map of the UAE formed using oyster shells glued together on a canvas. Meanwhile, Khalifa Al Remethi from the UAE won the music category award for his song called ‘Wallah Ma Troh’, expressing his admiration for Shaikh Zayed.
The third category winner was Nidhi Jhaveri, from India, who was selected for her poem entitled ‘The Ruler of Our Hearts’.
All three winners received a cash prize of Dh10,000, and will have their winning submissions promoted by PepsiCo, Emirates Foundation, and the competition partners. The Fujairah Fine Arts Academy will also showcase Al Hassan’s winning art submission, while the Dukkan Show will feature Jhaveri’s poem, and Anghami will feature Al Remethi’s song.
Al Hassan said she was inspired to use oyster shells in her piece after visiting a restaurant buffet. “I am a big believer in recycling and saving the environment, and I often use recycled materials in my art work and furniture design so I can give such materials a second life,” she told Gulf News.
She pointed out that just as Shaikh Zayed looked at the desert and saw opportunities, she looks at materials and envisions art and beauty.
Al Remethi form Abu Dhabi, 30, a songwriter and rapper, said he used his song and video from 2012, which he made as a tribute to his idol, Shaikh Zayed.
“The strongest message I was trying to convey in my rap is simply me trying to find the right words to express my feelings to a person I have a lot of gratitude towards and attempting to give back what he has given me,” he said.
Describing Shaikh Zayed as a “humble and peaceful” leader, Al Remethi referred to him as a president who deeply cared about all people on his land.
The singer-songwriter who began his music journey as a 16-year-old, aims to continue working on similar projects with a strong message.
Meanwhile, Jhaveri from India, 21, who started writing poetry in high school, said she was inspired by Shaikh Zayed’s ability to achieve his vision and move forward through his hard work.
“I was born in the UAE and have lived here since, and in that time Shaikh Zayed has been my inspiration. He transformed the desert into green land, and has empowered everyone and especially woman. He taught us to keep moving forward despite life’s ups and downs,” she said.