Dubai schoolgirls win global competition for their inspirational video

Warisha Shoaib, Maryum Noor, Rakshan Wazir and Zulakha Muhammad, all from Pakistan, have been declared global winners of the Your World competition.

From left: Warisha Shoaib, Rakshan Wazir, Maryum Noor and Zulaikha Muhammad are the global winners of the Your World competition in the 14 to 16 age category. They will go to London as part of their prize, courtesy of the British Council. Antonie Robertson / The National
Powered by automated translation

DUBAI // Four schoolgirls who shot a two-minute video to inspire their peers won a global competition for their efforts.

Warisha Shoaib, Maryum Noor, Rakshan Wazir and Zulaikha Muhammad, all from Pakistan and pupils at the Al Sadiq Islamic English School in Al Qusais, Dubai, were declared global winners of the Your World competition in the 14 to 16 age category by the British Council.

They competed against teenagers from countries including Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.

The four friends produced The Theory of Life video, in which they shared their thoughts about life and how people should strive to engage in the world, despite life's ups and downs.

In the video, they explained that life is not just about existing, it is also about the “roller-coaster”.

Warisha, 14, said that their teacher encouraged them to take part in the competition, even though they were all hesitant at first.

“We did not want to do it at first but our teacher encouraged us to go for it and express ourselves,” she said. “This is why we are hoping to inspire people to do things that they might be scared to do at first.

“Many people are scared to express themselves and we want to say that it’s OK to do that in front of people and your peers.”

Rakshan, who is also 14 and wants to be a surgeon, said that they chose to address the subject of life because it is one thing that everyone shares.

“Many people do not exactly know what life entails and many others take it for granted, and we wanted to show them an appreciation of life and to not feel let down by negatives,” she said.

Maryum, 15, said that the girls were all interested in literature, which was a great way for people to express themselves.

“In life there are high points and there are low points but the important thing we want to show through our video is that a person must always move forward,” she said.

“It’s not only about learning about oneself, but about the people around you.”

On Sunday, the four pupils will travel to London to attend courses at a British Council-accredited school. It is their first time travelling abroad without their families.

Zulaikha, 15, said they were a little anxious about travelling and taking part in the courses but they were also very excited.

“We are very happy about this opportunity and, although some of us feel a little scared, I think it’s more excitement that we’re going to experience this new adventure, which is a part of life,” she said.

Nick Godfrey, the British Council’s regional examinations manager for Middle East South, said that the video was a wonderful example of young people sharing their thoughts on life.

“The film clearly impressed the judges and it is a credit to the winning students, Al Sadiq Islamic English School and the UAE,” he said.

The British Council launched the global competition for school pupils in October last year.

Young people in the UAE who took part belonged to schools that are part of the British Council’s Partner School Network.