‘My Female Role Model’ writing competition winners

12 Apr 2016

‘My Female Role Model’ writing competition winners

“A female-role model should be an example, not only for her beauty or money but also for her acts, work and bestowal. I hope to become a role model one day. Every girl and every woman is able to be a role model if she had the will, because will is the basis of every successful work.” - Razan Kheireldine, a student from Shaqra High School.

Recently local high schools in south Lebanon’s Sector East participated in a writing competition organised by the United Nations Interim Force for Lebanon (UNIFIL). The theme of the competition was ‘My Female Role-Model’ and the final judge was the acclaimed Lebanese author Hanan Al-Shaykh.

Ms. Al-Shaykh, originally from Nabatiyeh in south Lebanon, has been publishing for more than 40 years, and her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. In her speech she highlighted the importance of reading and literature in our lives.

“I have become a journalist, writer and novelist, thanks to my teacher who will live forever in my memory, and thanks to our neighbour who placed his library at my disposal,” she said. “And, many thanks to those women who have narrated to me their unwritten tales and stories.”

The five winners selected by Hanan Al-Shaykh were: Razan Kheireldine (Shaqra High School), Cristelle Al-Houmsi (Saint-Coeur), Eliana Zamel (Saint-Coeur), Maggie Al Ghalti (Chebaa High School) and Ahmad Al-Kadri (Kafer Chouba High School).

After receiving her award, Maggie Al Ghalti explained why she chose her teacher to be the subject of her article: “I wanted to express my love for my teacher, because had it not been for her I wouldn’t have learned the Arabic language, and I wouldn’t have written on such topics. Of course, my mother and father helped me a lot, but my teacher remains my role model and idol.”

Another winner, Agnes Rizk, said she enjoyed being a part of the competition. “This activity motivates us to adhere to our traditions and enhances our passion for writing,” she said. “It also encourages us to keep up the habit of writing which is diminishing nowadays due to technological advancements.”

Each of the five winners received a certificate, along with gifts from UNIFIL and the two private sponsors: Librairie Antoine and Virgin Megastore from Beirut. They also received signed copies of one of Hanan Al-Shaykh’s novels.

Article: Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Video Editor: Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze