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Emirates NBD Poetry For All Competition – Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
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Emirates NBD Poetry For All Competition

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Emirates NBD Poetry For All Competition:

Age 8 – 13:
1st Place : Caoimhe Walsh – Horizon English School
2nd Place : Holly O’Shea – Jumeirah English Speaking School
3rd Place : Angelique Gayle Santiago – Pristine Private School

Age 14 – 18:
1st Place : Mustafa Khan – Greenfield Community School
2nd Place : Osama Shabaan – Greenfield Community School
3rd Place : Majed Albanna – Universal American School

The 2018 Poetry For All competition (formerly Qasidah par Coeur) is now closed.

About the Competition:

Emirates NBD Poetry For All is an annual competition run by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to celebrate poetry performance and recital.

Students learn poetry by heart and give an emotional response to the language and ideas of the poet.

How the Competition Works

Round 1: (Internal School Round):

  • Each school chooses how to select the best 3 students per age group, using internal judges
  • The age groups are 8-13 and 14-18.
  • Each student can participate in Arabic or in English.
  • Each student performing in English chooses one poem only from any work published by a recognised publisher (not self-published).
  • The poem must be 14-30 lines long, and submitted online to the Festival when entering the competition.
  • Poems in Arabic must be chosen from the anthologies provided by the Festival. For more details, please click
  • The school’s official Teacher/Coordinator should register the selected students and upload their chosen poems on or before 14 December 2017.

Round 2: (Inter-school Semi-final Round):

  • For the 14-18 age category, students also need to prepare and perform a justification on why they have chosen the poem (not exceeding 50 words).
  • The semi-final will take place between 4-8 February 2018.
  • Registered schools will receive an official email about the details of the semi-final round, including the date, timings and venue.
  • The judges will choose the finalists to qualify for the final round.
  • Announcement of the finalists will be sent to all participating schools.

Round 3: Final Round

  • The final round will be held on 7 March 2018 during the Festival.
  • Students must perform the same poem as in the semi-final round.
  • The judges will evaluate each finalist’s performance and the winners for each age group will then be announced.
  • The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with regard to these decisions.


The winners in each category will be honored during the Festival and will receive winners’ plaques.

Judges’ Criteria:

Confident delivery: The auditory impact of the performance. Volume, pace, clarity of pronunciation in the student’s natural accent make an engaging performance. The listeners must be pulled in and feel compelled to hear every word.

Understanding the poem: The student should demonstrate an understanding of the poem, conveying this clearly to the audience.

Conveying the sentiment of the poem: The student should interpret the poem so that it is enhanced but not embellished.

Fluency & Accuracy

Overall performance: The way in which the performer presents himself/ herself will add to the recitation, including appearance, making eye contact with the audience, displaying confidence and using appropriate body language.

Please read the following points carefully

  • Schools wishing to enter students in the English competition should use the form below, while those entering in Arabic should click here.

  • Only the official Teacher/Coordinator may register their students in the competition.
  • Participating schools should use the above criteria for their internal round (Round 1) to select students for the semi-final round.
  • For further queries regarding the Qasidah par Coeur Competition, please contact our Competitions Manager, Eman Al Hammadi on 04 355 9844 or at competitions@emirateslitfest.com

Terms and Conditions

  • Entrants must be in full-time education and in the specified age groups of 8-13 and 14-18.
  • Each school can enter a maximum of 3 students per age group per language.
  • Entrants are welcomed from the GCC (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Winners of the internal school round (Round 1) must be prepared to attend the semi-final and final rounds in Dubai at their own expense.
  • Schools and groups must conduct Round 1 and register students via the website by the specified date of 14 December 2017.
  • The entrants give permission for the Emirates Literature Foundation, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Emirates NBD to publicise photographic images of the participating students in all stages of the competition in related publicity material and activities. Schools should be aware that they might need to obtain parental consent for this.
  • Judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with regard to these decisions.
  • Please note that participating schools which do not adhere to the said terms and conditions will be disqualified.
  • Copyright of any material produced remains with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
  • By entering the competition, entrants agree to observe the terms and conditions of the competition.


The competition has now closed.


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