Idrees Al- Hooti

Artist Graphic Desinger, Center for Educational Technology at Stultan Qaboos University

Dr. Faryal Ahmed

English instructor in the language center at Sultan Qaboos University

Priyanka Sacheti MehtaPriyanka Sacheti Mehta

Poet, friend, reporter

Living in the United States of America

Having been writing since the age of eight and published three volumes of poetry by the time I graduated from school, I have always chanced with pleasure upon discovering fellow writers and poets ever since. For me, they are kindred spirits, sharing the joys that writing yields in its many forms - and I always looked forward to interacting with such persons.

I would read Ali's column in The Week and emailed him a couple of times, where he remarked that it was indeed nice to hear from a writer and reader. On my part, it was wonderful to learn of other literary and writing -inclined individuals in Oman- Ali radiated much passion and sincere appreciation for writing. Unfortunately, although we did not get to meet in person, I was able to access the breadth and depth of his thoughts, vision, and perspectives through his poetry books and blogs. And such is the power of writing: we feel acquainted and familiar with the author by the virtue of engaging with his words and mind space even though a physical meeting has never taken place!

Such a competition is a wonderful and much needed initiative in Oman today; with the increasing digitisation of the world, we are constantly playing around with words. The more we play with words, the more we can appreciate the forms they can assume in form of poems, blog-posts, or stories. There are many young persons in Oman who are undoubtedly both playing with and exploring words and language and crucially, telling their stories through these word-play encounters: this competition will offer them the much needed platform to showcase their stories - and the world to listen to them.