Home Lifestyle Emirates Airline Festival of Literatures Announces Schools Winners

Emirates Airline Festival of Literatures Announces Schools Winners

by Eddie Rayner

The winners of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature‘s popular competitions for schools have been honoured at several inspiring awards ceremonies at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU). The trio of competitions – the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, The Chevron Readers’ Cup and the Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition – allowed young people to show off their skills in story writing and the art of composing a letter, and to display their knowledge in the battle to see which schools came top in the reading challenge.

“Schoolchildren have faced so many uncertainties this year, and I know the return of these competitions has been a welcome boost to morale. The competitions have become an annual highlight in the school calendar,” said Ahlam Bolooki, festival director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “As always, they have been very popular, with the OUP Arabic Writing Competition seeing a 25% increase in the number of entries, participation in the Chevron Readers Cup remaining strong, and many beautiful handwritten letters received for our new Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition.”

The Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, received 3,000 entries

The Chevron Readers’ Cup

The Chevron Readers’ Cup gives teams of champion readers the chance to compete against other schools in a series of heats. Teams with the best recall and understanding of the books go through to the final round. For the first time ever, the challenge was conducted virtually, with students taking part in the qualifying rounds and finals in two age groups, primary and secondary, held in Arabic and English. The competitions were open to full-time students in the GCC (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Teams answered questions on a selection of books provided by the Emirates Literature Foundation team, and the winners were awarded trophies, medals, certificates, and book vouchers.

The OUP Arabic Writing Competition sees a 25% increase in the number of entries

Renu Sharma, General Manager and Country Chairperson – Middle East Aviation and Joint Ventures at Chevron, said: “Though we had to do things a little differently this year by staging a virtual contest, it certainly did not dampen the enthusiasm of the students, and it was wonderful as ever to see the enjoyment they get from taking part.”

English Winners

Primary Age Group

  1. Gems UIS Jovial Juniors, Gems United Indian School AD
  2. The Bookaholics, Sabari Indian School
  3. The Bibliophiles, Our Own English High School

Secondary Age Group

  1. Year 10 Superstars, Gems Metropole School
  2. Reading Warriors, Delta English School
  3. TMS – TEAM – S2, The Millennium School

Arabic Winners

Primary Age Group

  1. Al Qalam, Emirates National Schools Al Ain
  2. Nojoom Ka’as Al Qurraa’, Dar Al Uloom Private School Falaj Hazaa Al Ain
  3. Mobdeaat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Basic Education School

Secondary Age Group

  1. Alsawsanah Alsawdaa’, Al Hikmah Private School Al Nuaimiah
  2. Rowwad Al Qiraa’a, Dar Al Uloom Private School Falaj Hazaa Al Ain
  3. Shabaab Al Mostaqbal, Future International Private School


The Festival’s student writing competition, the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, received 3,000 entries in total, including more than 1000 in Arabic. The competition is divided into age-specific categories: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25. Each winner received a book containing the original winning short stories, a book on Creative Writing published by OUP, and a winner’s plaque. This year’s theme was ‘Change the Story’, and the competition was judged by Kathy Hoopman, Kathleen Butti, April Hardy, and Liz Turner for the English entries and by Nadia Al Najjar, Muhannad Al Akouse, Sanaa Chabbani, and Manea Al Maeni for the Arabic entries. Kathleen Butti and Nadia Al Najjar also attended the ceremony.

“This was a brilliant theme for the competition, with many of the entries reflecting the trials and tribulations of the last year,” said Jennifer Duggan from OUP. “I hope it will encourage them to write for pleasure right throughout their lives.”

OUP winners – English:

11 and under:

  1. Aarav Saini – Gems Wellington Primary School
  2. Siya Anand Nayar – Gems Cambridge International School
  3. Shay Radia – Formarke School

12- 14

  1. Charles Samuel Vitug – Diyafah International School
  2. Mahnoor Umar Pirzada – International School of Creative Science
  3. Nuha Kaz – Al Diyafah School


  1. Anyka Chakravarty – Wellington International School
  2. Sophia Ouchari – Gems International School, Al Khail
  3. Salwa Khan – Arab Unity School


  1. Aysha Almaskari – ADNOC Schools, Sas Al Nakhl
  2. Aswathy Dinesh – Unique World Education
  3. Fathima Afrin Anosh – Amity University Dubai

OUP winners – Arabic:

11 and under:

  1. Yassin Askar – Gems Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis
  2. Fahad Talal Al Jzairi – Dubai National School Al Twar
  3. Omar Saad Al Yaakeeb – Al Qaryah Basic Education School, Cycle 1


  1. Haya Mahmood Al Lababeedi – Dubai National School Al Twar
  2. Roaa Saeed Mansoor – Liwa International School
  3. Meera Ahmad Almheiri – Dubai National School Al Twar


  1. Arwa Awad Ali Al Nuaimi – Applied Technology Highschool, Baniyas AD
  2. Aisha Ali Khamis Al Safdani – Applied Technology High School, Falaj Almulla, UAQ
  3. Shahd Fadil Rashid Al Mazrooei – Applied Technology Highschool (Girls), AD


  1. Mohammad Abdulhakim Al Anis – Al Wasl University
  2. Bashayer Yousif Alkhayyat Al Ali – Khalifa University, RAK
  3. Mezna Abudulaziz Aljeraishi – Higher Colleges of Technology

Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition

This brand-new competition celebrated the craft of letter writing with Montegrappa, Italy’s oldest manufacturer of hand-crafted writing instruments. Open to all ages from nine years upwards, primary and secondary pupils were asked to write a letter, in their best handwriting, to one of their favourite characters from a book.

Montegrappa Winners – English

Primary: Ages 9–13

  1. Mir Faraz, The Winchester School – ‘A Different Perspective’
  2. Farida Hassan, Regent International School – ‘Dear Elizabeth’
  3. Seher Pahade, Ambassador School – ‘You Inspire Me!’

Secondary: Ages 14-18

  1. Maansi Sharma, Asian International Private School – ‘On The Other Side’
  2. Aarushi Dahiya, Jumeirah English Speaking School – ‘Application to be a Death Eater’
  3. Rushmeen Anwar, The Oxford School – ‘Letter to Lennie Small’

Montegrappa Winners – Arabic

Primary: Ages 9–13

  1. Abdullah Sheikh, Cambridge International School – ‘My Three Wishes’
  2. Sara Zaid Qasim, Mawakeb Private School Al Barsha – ‘Letter to Linda’
  3. Jenin Mohammad Abu Obaid, Emirates National Schools Al Ain – ‘To Mr Khaldoon’

Secondary: Ages 14-18

  1. Shatha Farsi, Emirates National Schools Sharjah – ‘To the Loving Yasmine’
  2. Lara Zaid Qasim, Mawakeb Private School Al Barsha – ‘To Dear Nadia’
  3. Shamma Sultan Al Suwaidi, Emirates National Schools Sharjah – ‘To the Brave and Adventurous Mohammad’

The winners each received a Montegrappa fountain pen from the Ambiente collection, made with a special resin created from plastics recycled from the oceans. Runners up received a limited edition Montegrappa LitFest 2021 pen, which was created exclusively for all participating authors.

The competitions were open to full-time students in the GCC

“It was a pleasure to see the penmanship and creativity in the entries. We really appreciated the care that had been taken in writing the letters,” said Charles Nahhas, the Middle East distributor of Montegrappa. “The competition has sparked imaginations, providing some very amusing entries, addressed to a whole cast of literary characters.”

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will return in 2022.