HH Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum awards children for their creativity and commitment to a more sustainable future
September 26th, 2022 (Dubai, UAE): The 2022 winners of the Middle East edition of the Voices of Future Generations, the inspiring global writing competition for children, were announced yesterday in the presence of HH Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the initiative’s Goodwill Ambassador, at the competition’s biggest award ceremony to date.
Bringing together the shortlisted children, their families, teachers, and the artists illustrating the stories in the two anthologies of winning stories from the previous years, the event held at Zabeel Ladies Club celebrated the tremendous impact of the competition in raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals in every community it touches.
HH Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “There are many problems in this world. But each and every one of the children celebrated here today has proved themselves to be part of the solution. Through creative writing, they have explored some of the most important issues of our time and envisioned how we can solve them. Creativity, story-telling, passion and vision; these children have it all. I encourage everyone to read these stories, and let them inspire you. Together we can make a difference.”
The award ceremony was hosted by previous winners, Saud Ahmad Al-Kaabi (10) and Saira Thomas (12) from the first round of the competition in 2020, and Mezna Najeeb (13) and Abrar Ahmed Sirohey (14) from the 2021 edition. Guests also enjoyed an exhibition of the illustrations by local artists featured in the first two anthologies of winning stories.
Winners in the English category:
- A Prescription for a Faltering Future by Inayah Fathima Faeez, Gems United Indian School, Abu Dhabi
- The World Warrior by Inaya Danish Zaidi, The Winchester School, Dubai
- War Candies by Mohammed Hamzah Siddiqui, Cambridge International School, Dubai
Winners in the Arabic category:
- Under Water Magic by Nourah Ahmed Yousif Almushtaghil Alnaqbi, Al-Marifa 1 School, Khor Fakkan Sharjah
- Finding the Path to Happiness by Rodina Ahmed Atef Badr, Charity School Ajman
- Look Inside by AbdulKareem Ghazal, Al-Shola Private School, Sharjah
“We need stories to fuel our imaginations and help us set course for the future we want to see,” said Jennifer Malton, Director of VoFG and Sustainability for the Emirates Literature Foundation. “These children are becoming ever more aware of the increasing pressures posed by climate change and the damage it is causing our planet. Nothing is more motivating than reading a gripping story that confronts these issues head on and champions a relatable hero to overcome them. They are not only skilled storytellers, but they also use their knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainability to inspire others to act. I would like to congratulate everyone on their outstanding accomplishments.”
The unique writing initiative, launched under the patronage of UNESCO in 2014 and brought to the Middle East in 2019, was created to promote sustainability awareness and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The regional competition is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation on behalf of HH Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Goodwill Ambassador for the initiative for the Middle East.
The competition, open to children aged 8 to 12, encourages children to write adventure stories about characters overcoming challenges and creating a more tolerant, sustainable world. The best entries are published in a book in Arabic and English and shared internationally.
All entries must be between 600-1,500 words long and should feature one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the writer’s hopes, dreams or aspirations for a sustainable future. Entries are open to all children resident in the Gulf region and in full-time education, including those home schooling. Registrations of interest are now open.
For more details see https://vofg.vofgarabia.org/
More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Foundation also has two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest, and the Boundless Book Club.
For more information, please contact: EmiratesLiteratureFoundation@actionprgroup.com
The Voices of Future Generations Initiative was launched on the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by a consortium of partners including World Future Council, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in the Government of Hungary, and the Trust for Sustainable Living, under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
About the Emirates Literature Foundation:
The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.
Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.
In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the School Librarian of the Year Award, Kateb Maktub, and From the Inside Out, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and mentorship programmes. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2020 International Literary Festivals Conference, the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference and the 2016 Dubai Translation Conference.
The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival.