Vodafone launched the second edition of its literary competition, under the patronage of HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the Minister of Culture and Heritage. 

This is also the second year the Minister has given his backing to the project and was thanked for his support at the launch event by Vodafone Qatar’s Chairman HE Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani Al Thani. Also in attendance was HE Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali, Minister of Sports & Youth and Kyle Whitehill, Vodafone Qatar’s CEO. Vodafone Qatar’s Director of External Affairs, Mohammed Al Yami, said:

We’re very proud to bring this literary competition for the second year in a row which has been designed to encourage the preservation one of the most important threads of our Arabic culture and tradition. We are extremely grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, which has been essential to the success of this initiative. It is especially meaningful that we are aligning this year’s competition with Qatar National Day’s theme to give people a means to express their love for this great country. I would like to thank HE Salah Bin Ghanim Al Ali, Minister of Sports & Youth and Head of the Qatar National Day Celebrations Organising Committee for his backing to align our competition with the chosen theme for this year’s National Day celebrations.’

The launch event opening was marked by the gifting of paintings by the artist Ali Hassan Al Jaber to HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, and HE Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali. HE Dr Al Kuwari said:

We commend Vodafone for the role they are playing in encouraging reading and writing in Arabic and so I and the Ministry have given them our full support and backing. It is vital that companies in Qatar promote such initiatives in support of our leadership and country’s vision.’

In line with the theme of this year’s Qatar National Day celebrations, the verse ‘I  treated you with honesty, guidance and integrity’, which comes from a poem written by Qatar’s founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, has been chosen as the title for this year’s Vodafone’s literary competition. Al Yami said:

As a 73% Qatari owned company, Vodafone, through a serious of activities such our latest support to Qatar’s first identity seminar, is committed to playing a role in reviving and preserving the heritage of Qatar which is key to the Qatar National Vision 2030.’

The first edition of Vodafone’s literary competition came to light in December 2013 with the aim to help preserve the Arabic language, encourage creative writing, celebrate the beauty of the written Arabic word, and very importantly to pay tribute to Qatar’s National Day. The competition proved to be a great success with over 100 short story and novel submissions. This was followed by several of the submissions being published by leading Arab publishing houses.

The competition’s launch was followed by a seminar that looked at the art and history of story writing in Qatar. Qatari literary figures – Dr Ahmed Abdelmalik, Jamal Fayez, Dr Huda Al Nuaimi, Mohsen Al Hajiri and Hessa Al Awadi – led the discussion which was warmly received by the audience.

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The competition is open to all citizens and residents from now until 13 February 2015 and the submissions for both the competition’s categories have to be in the Arabic language:

Category 1: Taking inspiration from the competition’s title, ‘I treated you with honesty, guidance and integrity’, submissions have to be in the form of 1 short story between 500 to 1,000 words. The prizes for this category is as follows; 1st Prize QR20,000, 2nd Prize QR15,000 and 3rd Prize QR10,000.

Category 2: Submissions have to be a collection of stories, on any subject matter, that’s no less than 10 pages and doesn’t exceed 100 pages. The prizes for this category is as follows; 1st Prize QR50,000, 2nd Prize QR30,000 and 3rd Prize QR20,000.

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The panel of judges – Qatari literary and luminary experts – will convene in February 2015 to agree the winners of the QR145,000 prize pot and the winners will be announced in March 2015.

For more information or to understand the full terms and conditions or submit your literary work, visit Vodafone Qatar’s website.