Khalid Al Sayed, Editor-in-Chief of The Peninsula, showing a cartoon to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari at the Media Expo 2012 yesterday. Jaber Al Harami, Editor-in-Chief of Al Sharq, is also seen.
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: The second Media Expo Qatar 2012 yesterday reached an exciting conclusion with a number of competitions organised by The Peninsula and Al Sharq dailies namely Sudoku, photography and news writing contests.
From dozens of participants on the preliminary round of the The Peninsula’s Sudoku contest, three emerged winners out of the seven who pitted against each other during the gruelling final round yesterday.
Filipino brainiac Brian Flores bested the finalists at the Sudoku competition having solved the puzzle in just 8 minutes and 13 seconds, which he considered of medium difficulty.
“Sudoku has now become a very popular game here because apart from it is a challenging and fun game, it is also a way to deal with homesickness for expatriates. I consider it a very good pastime,” said Flores who believes the competition should be held regularly.
“I think Kakuro would make a better competition next time as it is more challenging than Sudoku. I think more competitions like this should be organised here,” added Flores, who works for a facilities and auto dealer company.
Second place winner Murad Zaied was of the same view saying many people know how to play the game but are not given the chance to display their skills because of lack of venues to showcase them.
“This contest is a very good way to further popularise this game. Back in my country, Tunisia, we have Sudoku but we don’t have contests like this,” said Zaied. The contest had been challenging and I saw all the contestants were competitive and eager to win the game and I’m privileged to be able to be placed second among the many who aspired,” he said, adding Sudoku is a good hobby especially for older people who could not anymore play physically challenging games.
The Peninsula Photography competition witnessed a well-deserved win for professional photographer Firos Syed who already bagged a number of awards including one from the National Geographic last year and at the Aljazeera photography award.
Syed has been working at the Ministry of Environment as photographer for the past four years although he had been a lensman for a decade now.
“I’m both happy and excited about this award as I have been very passionate about photography,” said Syed.
Last-minute entrant A K Bijuraj, who bagged the second prize was ecstatic as it was his first time to join a contest of that kind in Qatar where he is working for four years as photographer for Aspire.
“I didn’t know about the competition until yesterday at 5.30pm. At 9.30pm I submitted three of my photos and I am happy I won,” said Bijuraj, whose winning photo depicts old cameras on display at the expo and new ones.
“The ancient cameras were a rare collection and I tried to compare it with advanced ones. I titled it ‘Generation Gap’ to emphasise the comparison and how far we have gone in terms of technology.”
Al Sharq conducted a news writing competition along five themes including respecting parents, respecting teachers, traffic accidents, garbage disposal and handicapped parking.
Latifa Basem Azzam, one of the winners proficient in both English and Arabic, said she was happy having won the first news writing competition she had joined in.
“I have been writing, in fact I joined Young Peninsula Journalist one and a half years ago and still contributing, but I really did not expect to win. It has been a good experience for me,” said Azzam
The 17-year-old Palestinian student at Global Academy believes the competition should continue as a platform for other aspiring writers like her.
Joining the news writing competition was an opportunity for Sara Abbas Al Neel, another winner, to discover another hidden talent.
“I never knew that I could really write well until I won the competition. I just tried and to my surprise people were quite impressed. In fact some have told me I should try writing for the newspaper.
“I am not a journalist but I want to be one,” she said, adding organisers should hold the contest regularly for she believes there are more like her out there whose writing skills are just waiting to be discovered.
Aside from big cash prizes, certificates and medals were awarded to the winners by Khalid Al Sayed, Editor-in-Chief of The Peninsula, Jaber Al Harami, Editor-in-Chief of Al Sharq and other officials.