Dubai – MENA Herald: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a member of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has joined hands with the Ministry of Education to launch the ‘Qesaty’ (Arabic for My Story) competition to promote Arabic language and culture among Secondary and Preparatory level school students as well as school faculty and administrative staff in the UAE with the aim of keeping alive the country’s cultural heritage and traditions in the hearts of the people.

MBRF announced the new initiative at a press conference during the Nobel Museum Exhibition at Children’s City in Dubai Creek Park, in the presence of His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education; HE Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF; and media representatives. The competition is part of the Dubai International Program for Writing in the Youth Category, which introduces school students of various ages to different forms of writing.

On the occasion, HE Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi stated that the Ministry of Education will continue its efforts to support Arabic language, and expand the framework of its partnerships in this area with various entities, including MBRF to restore the glory of the language. “To achieve this, the ministry has launched several initiatives and events earlier to contribute to the growth of Arabic language in all fields,” he said.

HE Hussain Hammadi said: “The ‘Qesaty’ competition reflects the ministry’s keenness to protect and preserve Arabic language as our identity in the modern world. This initiative is also aligned to the vision and guidance of our wise leadership to preserve Arabic language and literature in the fields of arts and sciences and uphold our culture and history.”

He pointed out that the ‘Qesaty’ competition will be a major tool to target talented students and inspire them to develop their writing skills, especially in the field of short story writing.

HE Al Hammadi expressed the hope that the competition will receive extensive participation from students and staff in the field, and become the launch pad to prepare new writers and enhance their abilities in the field of writing and language.

Speaking on the occasion, HE Jamal bin Huwaireb said ‘Qesaty’ competition has been launched in line with the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark 2016 as the Year of Reading to prepare a generation of book lovers, and consolidate the country’s status as the capital of cultural and knowledge content. The competition is aligned to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of MBRF, to launch special programmes and events to raise awareness about the importance of Arabic language and its ability to produce quality literary work, he said.

HE Bin Huwaireb explained that the competition comes under the Dubai International Program for Writing, launched by MBRF years ago to empower young talents who have the ability to write content in various areas of knowledge, including science, research, literature, novels and poetry. He said the Dubai International Program for Writing has been supporting talented young writers to extend their reach to global levels through a range of successful categories. “Today we have launched ‘Qesaty’ competition as the first step within the Youth Category, which is targeted at school students of different ages to enhance their abilities in different kinds of writing,” HE Bin Huwaireb said.

HE Bin Huwaireb said the competition involves the participation of talented students and teachers from the Preparatory and Secondary levels of schools, and will help them build ideas and characters and empower them to create integrated literary work in accordance with the required standards in short story writing.

The literary works in the competition will be selected by a committee of leading experts in the field through the joint cooperation of MBRF and the Ministry of Education. The terms and conditions and the application process will be explained through the websites www.moe.gove.ae and www.qesaty.ae. The competition offers 10 prizes for the winners, seven of them for students, and the other three for teachers and administrators, in both the Preparatory and Secondary levels.

The participants to the competition are required to write a short story based on events related to UAE heritage. The assessment will take into account the technical construction of the story, and the language elements, including narration and dialogue. MBRF will organise training sessions for the participants in the competition, led by qualified experts. The Foundation will also publish the winning works and support the writers in their journey of writing.