Sharjah student is master story teller

DUBAI - Hasaan Yusuf Mohammed, a Business Information Technology student from Sharjah Men's College, became the UAE Regional winner on Thursday evening for the first Regional Extremely Short Story Competition 2008 (ESSC) Arabian Peninsula competition.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 13 Jun 2008, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:29 PM

Mohammed said, "It is so amazing that I won. Since I am good at creative writing, I decided to take part in the competition."

The ESSC was organised jointly by the British Council Middle East and Zayed University, with the support of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and the prize-giving ceremony took place at Zayed University Dubai.

Students from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen had the challenge to express themselves in just 50 words. Mohammed, a technical student, took to creative writing a few years back. "I am really passionate about writing and feel I can express myself better with words," he said.

Mohammed, who has started work on his first novel, will head to the UK for a short creative writing course, funded by British Council, this October.

Eminent Emirati author Mohammad Al Murr, Vice President of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, presented the awards to 50 young Arab authors to honour the creativity and ingenuity of 50 young Arab authors. They are all finalists from schools, universities and colleges from across the Arabian Peninsula in ESSC, a creative writing competition.

The ESSC (based on the theme - 'Our memories, dreams and futures') invited students to write stories which could be fact or fiction, poetry or prose, but which had to be exactly 50 words in length, and submitted via an ESSC website. These students were selected from thousands of entries across the Arab countries.

Regional English Manager for the British Council Middle East, Anne Wiseman, said, "Our aim with the ESSC is to help inspire and provide a channel for the creative use of English by young national students of the six GCC countries and Yemen. The most creative examples will be published and enjoyed by a wider public and will be used in developing materials for English language teaching. The ESSC is an excellent concept that originated in the UAE and the British Council is delighted to be taking this competition across the region, and even beyond. In fact, the ESSC has already been piloted at the British Council in Korea."

The ESSC originated in 2003 in the UAE where it was developed by Peter Hassall at Zayed University. This is the first time that the ESSC has been run as a regional competition, organised by the British Council Middle East.

The ESSC ran from 20 April to 22 May 2008 and more than 50 educational institutions from across the region registered for the competition. The ESSC has been held three times in the UAE, with an anthology of stories written by young Emiratis produced after each competition.

More news from