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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi culture ministry launches Arabian Leopard story competition to mark international day
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture announced the launch of the Arabian Leopard Story Competition on Tuesday as a digital contest directed at children and adolescents, the state-run SPA news agency reported.
The completion runs until Feb. 10, coinciding with the International Day of the Arabian Leopard, and participants are expected to complete a short story with drawings according to a template pre-prepared by the ministry that talks about the Arabian leopard, the importance of preserving it, and enhancing the status of its habitat in the Kingdom.
The competition includes four main stages, starting from receiving the entries and the launch of the digital platform from Dec. 26 to Jan. 16, then the sorting and filtering stage from Jan. 15 to 18, judging the entries from Jan. 21 to 25, and finally announcing and honoring the winners at a special event held on Arabian Leopard Day.
The target group in the competition is divided into two sections, the first for cubs from 9 to 12 years-old, and the second for tigers from 13 to 15 years-old.
The competition offers several prizes in its two categories. The first place winner in the cub category will receive SR4,500 ($1,200), the second SR3,000, and the third SR1,500. Meamwhile, the first place winner in the leopard category will receive SR6,000, the second SR4,000, and the third SR2,000.
The competition has specified a set of terms and conditions that the participant must adhere to, the most prominent of which is that they must be between 9 and 15 years-old, whether a citizen or resident in the Kingdom.
The participant must also submit the entry and all required documents via the Ministry of Culture’s website, upload files in the required formats, and adhere to complete credibility. It is not permissible to participate in the same work, or to copy, repeat or quote work from one participant to another.
If this happens, participation will be canceled, and the competition administration has the right not to award the prize to the main winner and choose an alternative winner if it becomes evident that the contestant is not eligible according to the terms and conditions.
The ministry has allocated general technical conditions that the participant must adhere to before participating in the competition
Individuals can submit work in several categories, i.e. thriller, action, horror, drama, science fiction, historical, or sports.
The Saudi Council of Ministers had issued a decision on Jan. 18, 2022, designating February 10 each year as the Arabian Leopard Day, and as a culmination of national efforts, the UN General Assembly issued a decision last June to designate the day as International Arabian Leopard Day.
The initiative is fully in line with the commitment of the Kingdom and the Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate toward protecting the Arabian leopard due to its great national and regional importance. It also aims to preserve the environment, seek to spread awareness throughout the region, draw the world’s attention to the dangers to which this rare creature is exposed, and shed light on long-term plans to save them.
For the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian leopard represents the qualities of beauty, tranquility, physical strength and courage. It has occupied a special place in their imaginations for thousands of years, and stories and novels have been passed down, along with pictures that have been found engraved in ancient rock art in the Kingdom.
Through this competition, the Ministry of Culture aims to activate international days, raise the level of awareness among children and adolescents about the Arabian leopard, and highlight and celebrate promising talents in writing and drawing.
It also seeks to consolidate the importance of the natural reserves in which the Arabian leopard lives, and to enhance the status of the Kingdom as its habitat, and encourage the international community to preserve the breed from extinction through qualitative and motivational initiatives.
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