Taaleem Award Honours Next Generation of Poets

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 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Competition Promotes 2016 Year of Reading

Dubai, 12 March, 2016: A symbolic baton was passed on today as young poets received their prizes for the Taaleem Award at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016 from none other than UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The award-winning poet of collections such as The World’s Wife, presented the winners with the prizes followed by an event focused on her children’s book The Princess’ Blankets. The recitation was accompanied by images and music played by her long-time musical collaborator John Sampson.

This year’s theme ‘Time’ proved exceptionally popular and more than 700 entries were shortlisted. Winners were awarded certificates and tickets to writing workshops with the online platform for young writers, Pobble, after the Festival as well as a dual-language book with all the winning entries. The Festival’s competitions play a part in promoting the efforts of the Year of Reading, declared by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Judges Frank Dullaghan and Joan Scott-Minter were impressed by the exceptional standard of this year’s entries with Scott-Minter commenting: ‘The theme ‘Time’ has fired the imaginations of the young poets in the UAE. The style of writing by these youngsters shows a level of maturity that belies their age. They have encompassed so many themes, be it from history or current events, and it shows the growing talent available in the UAE. Selecting the eventual winners has never been more difficult, and I can assure those who didn’t win that they should not be disheartened – the competition was very close.’

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In attendance was Ros Marshall, CEO of Taaleem, who spoke warmly about Taaleem’s continued involvement with the Festival, ‘I am surprised and delighted by how much the competition has grown over the past few years, and this year’s entries have just reminded us why we keep coming back for more. To think that this creation of Taaleem and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has acted as a nurturing platform for young poets in the region to showcase their talents ensures that we will continue this competition for a long time. I wish the new generation of poets all the best and look forward to 2017.’

The winners – English language:

11 & Under Age Group

  1. E Jane Loo
  2. Jasper Clark
  3. Rhea Nair DMello
12 to 14 Age Group

  1. Amber Waite
  2. Joshua Vaughan
  3. Aisha AlZarouni
15 to 17 Age Group

  1. Chloe Elliott
  2. Anushe Sheikh
  3. Joint third: Olivia Joelle Simoni
  4. Joint third: Caroline Rou
18 to 25 Age Group

  1. Jennah Ashraf Fakhouri
  2. Sophia Karzai
  3. Joint third: Jumana Al-Basyouni
  4. Joint third: Habib Tabaja

The winners – Arabic language:

11 & Under Age Group

1.    Fatima Faraj Hassan Amiri

2.    Noor Khalid Bin Hammad

3.    Rayan Khalid Bin Hammad

12 to 14 Age Group

1.    Fatima Altamimi

2.    Ahmad Zaid Ali Attia

3.    Fatima Ghulam Mustafa

15 to 17 Age Group

1.    Fatema Ahmad Bin Bakheet Al Nuaimi

2.    Mustafa Mohammed Mustafa Radwan

18 to 25 Age Group

1.    Eman Jehad Abdel-Hafeez Abuzaid