Dubai, 9 March 2019:  The next generation of writers of the UAE were honoured at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature with a special ceremony for the winners of the Oxford University Press (OUP) Story Writing Competition. The annual competition is a fixture of the academic calendar with 3,084 students from around the UAE sending in their entries this year. The competition runs in Arabic and in English and is divided into age-specific categories: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25. Each winner received a book containing their original short stories and a winner’s plaque. Presenting the awards at the ceremony this year were Festival 2019 authors Kuwaiti children’s writer Basemah Al-Wazzan and OUP author of The Demon Headmaster series, Gillian Cross.

This theme for the competition  this year was ‘Other Worlds’. ‘This theme really enabled the students to give free rein to their imaginations with exceptionally original and wonderful contributions,’ said Julie Till, Head of Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa at Oxford University Press. ‘It is really exciting for us to be at the start of these young writers’ creative journeys, setting them on the path to a love of words and creative writing which we hope will endure and lead to greater things in the years to come.’

Category – English Language

Under 11 Winners

1. Cheryl Leah Mathew (Delhi Private School, Sharjah)

2. Ella Marie Starling (Kent College Dubai)

3. Shaurya Chakravarty (Regent International School)

12 – 14 Winners

1. Simran Vora (American School of Dubai)

2. Anyka Chakravarty (GEMS Wellington International School)

3. Aaditya Gandhi (The Winchester School)

15 – 17 Winners

1. Mihica Anushree Prashant (GEMS World Academy, Barsha South)

2. Sayeda Adeen ul Mutaal Gilani (Al Salam Private School)

3. Suha Omar Shroof (GEMS Wesgreen International School)

  1. – 25 Winners

1. Maryamm Sabt (Zayed University, Dubai)

2. Elham Al Dweik (American University in Dubai)

3. Aysha Al Kuwaiti (UAEU, Al Ain)

Category – Arabic Language

Under 11 Winners

1. Mohammad Yousef Al Zaabi (Dubai National School – Al Tawar)

2. Jana Jaboub (Al Rashed Al Saleh Private School)

3. Arwa Ahmed (Dubai National School – Al Tawar)

12 – 14 Winners

1. Fatma Al Batool (Vision Private School – Abu Dhabi)

2. Ban Ibrahim (Al Hikma Private School – Ajman)

3. Lamees Bint Fathei (Al Hikma Private School – Ajman)

15 – 17 Winners

1. Tayba Mohammad Hussain (Sharjah American International School Dubai)

2. Shahad Ali Abdullah (Institute of Applied Technology – Abu Dhabi)

3. Hala Tariq Hasan (Vision Private School – Abu Dhabi)

18 – 25 Winners

1. Safiya Rasheed Ahmed (Ajman University)

2. Amal Sulaiman (UAE University)

3. Elham Basheri (Dubai National School – Al Tawar)

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 in partnership with 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.