The theme of this year’s competition was Stories of Our Ancestors, stated a press release.
Jane Jaffer, the organiser of the competition, said this year 235 children from 34 schools across the country were registered as participants. The theme of this year’s competition involved researching and recording factual details of one of the student’s ancestors.
Entries were graded according to three different age groups, which could be written in either Arabic or English. The judges awarded points according to the following criteria: Detailed research and historical backdrop, character description and dramatisation of life story. Points were also given for the quality of writing, vocabulary, grammar and presentation and for providing photographs and archival material.
Eight judges spent many weeks reading and assessing the entries. One of the judges, Elizabeth al Sarhani, remarked on the high standard of entries and said she enjoyed reading about the tough lives many of the children’s ancestors had faced.
Judge Diana Long said it had been an absolute honour and a pleasure to read the essays. “I have been impressed by the entrants’ vivid and compelling accounts of their older relatives’ lives, which included extraordinary hardship, great courage, and a will to succeed driven by a deep devotion to family. The research involved was often very impressive. I found the experience highly educational and sometimes acutely touching,” she said.
Fellow judge, Ahmed al Mukhaini, found Stories of Our Ancestors very interesting from as historical point of view. He said, “The stories were inspirational. They reminded me that heroic stories happen every day without us noticing. It takes a generation or two and initiatives such as Let’s Read for these heroes to be recognised and to provide motivation for us all.”
The prize giving ceremony will be held at the Al Qurum Complex on May 20 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Winners and all those who entered the competition are invited to attend with their families. Send an email confirming attendance to Jane Jaffer at email@example.com.