Students in the Middle East will once again have the chance to display their creativity by entering the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s students’ competitions. The Festival today launched the Chevron Readers’ Cup and Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur, following on from June’s launch of the Taaleem Poetry Award and Oxford University Press Short Story Writing Competition. The competitions are open to all full-time students between 8-22 years of age.
“With the launch of these competitions, we continue the Festival’s aim to promote a love of reading, writing and performance in the country and beyond,” said Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “The competitions have always been an integral part of the Festival. Watching the students’ perform poetry and participate in the Chevron Readers’ Cup quiz is the highlight of Education Day.
“We greatly appreciate the support of schools and universities in the region who have been encouraging their students to enter. It is a great incentive for everyone to enjoy the written word in all its forms and improve literacy rates,” added Abulhoul. “We look forward to an amazing year and brilliant performances.”
The Chevron Readers’ Cup returns for its third year, with more than 260 teams having participated last year. The Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur was held for the first time last year, drawing students from nearly 40 schools for the 2014 Festival. Registration for teams and rules for participation are available on-line at http://www.emirateslitfest.com/writingcompetition.
Chevron Readers’ Cup
The Chevron Readers’ Cup is a quiz-based inter-school competition. Teams read selected books on which they are quizzed in three different rounds. The competition is staged in both Arabic and English and has two age categories: Primary Schools (up to age 11) and Secondary Schools (ages 12-16). After the first two elimination rounds, the top eight teams advance to the final, where they compete in a live ‘read off’ held at the 2015 Festival.
“We have had two wonderful years sponsoring the Chevron Readers’ Cup and we cannot wait for next year,” said Christopher Bradley, Country Chairman UAE, Chevron Alkhalij. “I have had the chance to join in the competition myself as a judge and it has been such an enjoyable experience. The students are passionate about winning and so knowledgeable about the subject matter; it is a joy to be among them.”
He added: “We cherish our partnership with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, whose education goals match our community endeavours on improving education, health and economic development.”
The Chevron Readers’ Cup has established itself as a regional favourite with schools from all over the UAE, Muscat and Qatar competing in the 2014 finals.
Registrations for teams must be completed by October 24 and the list of books for all categories will be published by November 20 online at https://www.emirateslitfest.com/readers_cup
Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur
The latest addition to the Festival’s roster of competitions, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur, is a performance poetry competition that follows the strong oral tradition of the Arab world. After a successful debut last year with 14-18 year old students, the competition has now added a new age group catering to students aged 8-13, who will perform one poem in either Arabic, English or their native tongue.
Mr. Ibrahim Abdulrahim, Director of Events at Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center, said of the competition, “The first year was a great success with an excellent turnout. The performances of the students were outstanding, especially in the Nabati category, and we are looking forward to larger numbers participating this year with the additional age group category.
“We are dedicated to connecting the youth of the nation with UAE’s heritage and this competition has given us an ideal platform to do so,” Abdulrahim concluded.
There are several rounds, first at school, then inter-school and the grand finals will be held on March 4, during the Festival.
Registration for the competition is available online at https://www.emirateslitfest.com/qasidah-par-coeur
The Festival launched the writing competitions, the Oxford University Press Short Story Writing Competition and the Taaleem Poetry Award earlier this year.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, will take place in Dubai from 3 to 7 March 2015 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage. For more details of the Festival please see www.emirateslitfest.com
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