Posted on September 30, 2018

Getting one’s literary work published internationally is a great honour; more so if the writer is young.

Not just one – but six – students from Al Jazeera Academy, Qatar, have published their short stories in Gulf Young Writers of the Year 2018, by UK-based group Authors Abroad which features literary works by students in the UK and abroadThe students are: Dina Anas Ahmed and Ageel Rahman (7 – 9 age category); Fatima Mansouri and Aisha Al-Thani [pen name, Princess] (10 – 11 age category); Lulwa Al-Madadi (pen name, Layla Knight) and HalaElaffify (12-14 age category).

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Most of them could not believe their works were published the moment they first heard about it – even when they themselves saw the very pages. Up to now joy and pride light up their days. One of the writers, Dina of 7GG, remembers when the news broke out. ‘I was in shock,’ she said, smiling broadly. For classmate Fatima, who is also published, she thinks her achievement ‘amazing’. Hala of 8GY found out about the great news at an instant party her parents prepared to surprise her. Seeing her short story, Wings, published has sealed her decision to pursue writing as a career. 

And for this outstanding achievement, they received accolades from the school led by Sheldon Smith, Principal. Special guests, Ta’allum Group CEO, Ahmed Mannai and Mohammed Saefan PhD (Education Director) congratulated the awardees and presented them with certificates.The honorees basked in the applause by students, school officials, and proud parents of the awardees during one of the weekly assemblies held recently. Upper Primary Coordinator Karen Young sampled the works of each student writer. She read excerpts dramatically to the delight of everyone. Before that, Primary School Head Nadia Waja gave an inspirational message.

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This success by the students also credits Mumtaz Mohammed, senior librarian. Her persistence has paid off in encouraging students to submit their works to Authors Abroad, a UK publisher which features works of students in the UK and around the world.