The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature announced the launch of the annual student competitions for 2016. Students between the ages 8-18 years around the region are once again invited to indulge their love of reading and poetry with the Chevron Readers’ Cup and Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur competitions.
‘For several years now, the highpoint of the Festival has been the student competitions,’ said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. ‘It is incredibly encouraging to see our poetry performance competition receiving more and more participation, and the excitement around the Chevron Readers’ Cup quiz continues to grow. The most satisfying part of it is that all this excitement is about literature and reading. This is what the Festival is all about.’
Now in its fourth year, the Chevron Readers’ Cup has cemented a place for itself on the annual calendars of schools around the Gulf region, while the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur performance poetry competition has grown at a rapid pace since its inception in 2013. The Festival will continue to work with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on the competitions. Registrations for teams and rules for participation are available on-line at https://www.emirateslitfest.com/young-peoples-competitions/
Chevron Readers’ Cup
The annual Chevron Readers’ Cup is an inter-school competition divided in two age categories – Primary Schools (up to age 11) and Secondary Schools (ages 12-16). Teams are provided with a list of books by 2016 Festival authors on which the quiz questions are based. Staged in both Arabic and English, teams go through two elimination rounds before the top eight advance to the final, where they compete in a live ‘read off’ held at the 2016 Festival.
‘The Chevron Readers’ Cup has grown from strength to strength, and it is a privilege to continue sponsoring the event,’ said Christopher Bradley, Country Chairman UAE, Chevron Alkhalij. ‘I’ve been a judge for the quiz for three years now and nothing matches the buzz around the event. The students are genuinely passionate about reading and winning. It just shows how important the work of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is in improving education, health and economic development in the region.’
The Chevron Readers’ Cup has attracted attention from around the region, with schools from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman participating in the finals over the years. Registrations for teams must be completed by October 22. The list of books for all categories will be uploaded by October 27 at https://www.emirateslitfest.com/readers_cup
Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur
One of the big successes over the past couple of years has been the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah par Coeur performance poetry competition. The competition has two age group categories: 8-13 and 14-18, with students performing one poem in Arabic and/ or English.
Mr. Ibrahim Abdulrahim, Director of Events at Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center said, “Poetry is an intrinsic part of Arab life and is one of the most important facets of our heritage. The preservation of our heritage and history is not only for the benefit of the UAE but for the whole region. We are delighted to be the main sponsors of this competition, supporting and nurturing the talents of the new generations who wish to celebrate their heritage through the Arabic language. We hope that this competition continues to grow to become an inspiration for all students.”
He added, “We are proud of the results of the students and their performances. The calibre of participants has increased year on year, raising the bar of the competition as a whole.”
The competition goes through several rounds – internal school qualifiers, inter-school semifinals and the grand finals. The competition finals will be held during the Festival, which will take place from 1-12 March, 2016. Registration for the competition is open online at https://www.emirateslitfest.com/qasidah-par-coeur
Earlier this year, the Festival launched the writing competitions, the Oxford University Press Short Story Writing Competition and the Taaleem Award. More information is available on the Festival website.