Katara Cultural Village received an overwhelming response to the two writing competitions it recently launched as part of efforts to support the government’s stay-at-home policy to fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A total of 1,831 entries were received for the two categories. The competitions, which were in English, were open to all citizens and residents of Qatar with valid residence permits. The topics were Working from Home (for adults) and Studying from Home (for students). The competitions were launched after the government announced a partial lockdown in the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A total of 1,138 entries were received under the Student Category, while 693 entries were submitted for the adult category. Participants include 83 nationalities residing in Qatar – 66 nationalities under the Student Category and 52 nationalities under the Adult Category.

 

Majority of participants are from India, the Philippines, the United States, Britain, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Lebanon. Thirty-four Qatari students and five Qatari adults joined the competition.      

According to Katara Cultural Village General Manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, they are overwhelmed by the response to the competitions. He said that Katara has always been at the forefront of organising cultural and literary events, workshops and competitions to bring people together, strengthen cultural ties and encourage talent.

These competitions came at a time when the entire world is engaged in the struggle against COVID-19.

Competitions Committee Head Khalid Al Sayed said the topics were selected to ensure maximum participation from residents. The competitions were meant to support the government’s stay-at-home policy and physical distancing efforts.

We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to share their experiences to a global audience.

He said that the wide participation from students shows that the competition was received with great enthusiasm.

The numbers of participation in these competitions, according to Al Sayed, will also give them an opportunity to study the latest trends in work-at-home and study-at-home practices, and to map and analyse the preferences and possibilities in this regard. He said that this can give them indications about how to move forward in the area by studying responses.

He added that before the onset of coronavirus, they were going at normal speed with technological developments. But now, they have to speed up the process to cope with the new realities.

Winners and Winning Entries

The winning entries will be selected by a panel of highly competent judges. The first, second and third prizes in both categories carry cash awards of QAR10,000, QAR7,000 and QAR5,000, respectively.

Katara will also be giving seven consolation prizes in each category, in consideration of the huge number of participants. The best entries will be published in a book by Katara Publishing House.

This is the second time Katara is organising a writing competition in English for the community. It recently organised a creative writing workshop and short story completion for students of English-medium schools in Qatar.

Katara also organises the annual Arabic fiction awards, which is the biggest prize of its kind in the Middle East region, both in terms of prize money and the number of participants. The prize-winning novels are translated in English and French.

Visit katara.net for updates and more information about their online events and activities.