Schoolchildren Champion Water Conservation Through Paintings

SHARJAH - An upside down umbrella, a parched desert scene, bottles of crushed plastic water bottles and hundreds of other vivid images painted by over 85,000 schoolchildren from 750 public and private schools across the UAE were the highlights of the award ceremony of the ‘Save Water Competition-2008’.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 17 Dec 2008, 9:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:14 PM

The best 100 paintings depicting the importance of water conservation were awarded at the ceremony held at Coral Beach Resort, Sharjah, on Monday.

Eleven-year-old Mahrahamad Al Suwaidi of Sharjah Private School walked away with the first prize.
The second prize was bagged by Zahra Amer Al Saffar of Dubai International School and the third position by Sahil Ahmed of The Indian High School, Dubai.

The competition was organised by the UAE Ministry of Education and AGMC-BMW in association with Babyshop, ChoCo’a, Western Union, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Philips.

Saleh Alustad, Head of the Art and Culture Section, Department of Student Activities in the UAE Ministry of Education, who was one of the judges of the competition, said the children had researched the subject of water conservation quite well before painting.

“The selected 100 little artists belonged to the age group of 9-13 years and each of them had unique ideas on water conservation. It was extremely difficult for the judges to decide on the best painting. It is refreshing to see that parents and teachers actively involved in the competition process. More involvement is required from them to instil the importance of water conservation, which is now a global concern, in their children,” Alustad told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the ceremony.

Of the 750 participating schools, Westminster International School Dubai won the award for the largest participation with 624 entries.

The winners were selected by a special jury comprising renowned artists, art critics, and journalists, besides Alustad.

Mahrahamad Al Suwaidi, who won the first prize, said she was extremely happy that she made it to the first place. “My painting is called ‘Saving the Water’. I read a lot about the importance of water conservation before giving my submission and was helped by my parents and sisters,” she said.

An equally excited Zahra Amer Al Saffar said she understood a lot more about water conservation after participating in the competition. “I would try and take small steps at home to conserve water.”

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