The nation’s outstanding young poets were recognised today at the prize
giving ceremony of the Taaleem Award for Poetry held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (1-9 March 2019). The winners received a commemorative book featuring their winning entries and a trophy, awarded to them by the 2019 Festival poet Joshua Seigal alongside folk poet
Zainab Ibrahim AlBlooshi and poet Musaab Bayroitia.

Open to students writing in both Arabic and English, the annual Taaleem Award has become a fixture of the UAE student calendar. This year’s theme for the competition was Other Worlds, which inspired more than 1100 entries of original poetry based on the theme to be submitted in the four age categories – 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25 – making 2019 the competition’s most successful edition.

Taaleem’s CEO Ros Marshall said that competition had been hugely successful in making poetry more accessible. “The competition has been a wonderful catalyst in bringing poetry to life for a younger generation and providing a platform for the expression of an amazing spectrum of thoughts, emotions, observations and imaginings. We are proud to have supported the competition from its beginnings and hope it has instilled a life-long love of poetry in both Arabic and English, which will bring pleasure throughout the entrants’ entire lives.”

Category – English Language
Under 11 Winners

  1. Maria Mohammed Falaknaz (GEMS Wellington International School)
  2. Aleeza Shahnawaz (Kings’ School Dubai)
  3. Ayaan Ahmed (Al Yasmina Academy)

12 – 14 Winners

  1. Caitlin O’Leary (Dubai British School)
  2. Michelle Vivienne Choi (Raha International School)
  3. Jenin Al-Ashqar (American Academy Al-Mizhar)
  4. Zeinab Elbouzaidi Cheikhi (The First Academy, Ajman)

15 – 17 Winners

  1. Rameen Aslam (Dubai Gem Private School)
  2. Zamiya J. Akbar (Home-schooled)
  3. Nouf (Dubai National School)
    18 – 25 Winners
  4. Sabila Siddiqui (Dubai Medical College for Girls)
  5. Mahra Abdulla Hassan Alhosani (Zayed University, Abu Dhabi)
  6. Anusuya Subramanian (Middlesex University)
    Category – Arabic Language
    Under 11 Winners
  7. Sara Zaid Qasim (Al Mawakeb School – Barsha)
  8. Aalya Ali Al Yamani (Dubai National School – Al Barsha)
  9. Saeed Mohammad Saeed (Al Qeaan Basic Education School Boys – Fujairah)

12 – 14 Winners

  1. Ward Abdulhalim Hasan (Dubai National School – Al Barsha)
  2. Manal Adel Khalil (Al Raya High School – Dubai)
  3. Shamma Mohammad (Safia Bint Huyay School – Fujairah)

15 – 17 Winners

  1. Shahad Mohammad Jamal (Al Mawakeb School – Barsha)
  2. Mariam Abduljabbar Al Abdali (Al Salaf Al Saleh Private School – Girls)
  3. Kulood Abdulrahim Mustafawi Al Hashimi (Al Mizhar American Academy)

18 – 25 Winners

  1. Mohammad Muneef Askar (Sharjah University)

The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more.

There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 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. The Festival is organised in partnership with Emirates Airline and Dubai Culture & Art Authority. The Festival will be kicking off Dubai Culture’s flagship art initiative Dubai Art Season (DAS), which features a two-month citywide activation of art events across Dubai.