UAE flag competition gives students an artistic way to express national pride

Winners of this year’s National Flag competition will be announced during the next few days.

One of the entries in the photographic section of the National Flag competition. Courtesy Hazza Al Makki
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Winners of this year’s National Flag competition will be announced during the next few days.

The competition, held by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development to promote the value of the UAE flag among Emirati youth, was split into three fields: photography, fine arts, and poetry, all at primary, secondary and higher education levels.

“The prize makes participants recognize the importance of feeling proud about their country and expressing this pride and love through participating in such competitions,” said Amina Khail Ibrahim, head of Community Development Department at the ministry.

Now in its third year, Ms Ibrahim said the competition provided the Emirati youth the opportunity to express their love to the UAE through photos and fine arts.

“The national flag means a lot to me,” said Ibrahim Salem Al Ameri, 21, who submitted a picture for the photography portion of the competition.

“It is a symbol of our identity and is the soul and foundation of our country,” said the UAE University chemical engineer who got into photography three years ago.

“The camera is a part of me and I take it wherever I go.”

Mr Al Ameri said he looked forward to taking pictures leading up to and on National Day where many more UAE flags will feature in his shots.

“Our National Day is a special day which means everything to me.”

He said the occasion of the 42nd National Day was a good opportunity to contemplate how far the country has come in such a short time and to show the world how united the people of the UAE are.

He said his photo entry, a close up of his younger brother in a kandura and wearing a scarf in the design of a UAE flag, was the best picture he had taken.

“I hope the photo I entered creates this feeling and makes others feel as proud as I do to be part of the UAE.”

Hazza Mohammed Al Makki, 19, who entered two photographs, said he was not concerned about winning with his pictures.

“I am not participating for the prizes but because I want to share the feeling of pride I have for our flag.”

The Higher Colleges of Technology student, from Ras Al Khaimah, said the flag made him proud and signified the love people had for the country.

“It makes me think of the peace and cooperation we enjoy in our country.”

He said he would be flying the flag high on National day.

“It’s a great chance to get together with family and share our pride for the country,” he said.

The competition was open to UAE citizens and residents alike with about 75 per cent of the nearly 600 taking part being Emirati.

Higher Education students will receive cash prizes of Dh10,000 for first place, Dh8,000 for second, and Dh6,000 for third.

Secondary students will get Dh8,000, Dh6,000 or Dh5,000 while primary pupils will pocket Dh7,000, Dh5,000 or Dh4,000.