2021 Essay Competition!


Saturday 15th May 2021, 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Calling all Year 12 & 13 students!

"OH-MAN!” = An expression we use when we’re surprised. But did you know there’s a country called ‘Oman’? And could you point it out on a map?

OMAN

A fascinating country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula - next door neighbours with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.

One of the safest countries in the Middle East.

And it’s been besties with Britain since before your granny was born! There’s even a friendship group between the two countries to celebrate this, ‘The Anglo-Omani Society.'

Want to know more about this fascinating part of the world? Why not enter the Anglo-Omani Society’s latest competition? What better way to spend your Easter holidays?  We’d like you to write an essay, about 1500 words, on a topic focussing on, or closely related to, the Sultanate of Oman. You may choose your own subject, for example on the history, politics, economics or social and cultural affairs of Oman, or may answer one of the questions shown below.

This competition is in proud association with the Arab Digest. Essays will be judged by a panel composed of Trustees and Vice-Presidents of the Society, as well as our guest judge, editor of the Arab Digest, Bill Law. The winner will receive a prize of £300, and there will be two runner-up prizes of £200, and three of £100. Additionally, the winner will also recieve a year’s free subscription to the Arab Digest. All prize-winners will be invited to visit the Society’s headquarters in London, and may have an opportunity to speak about their chosen topic to the members of the Society. The winning essay will be published in the Society’s annual Review.

And here’s a couple of messages for teachers! If the winner comes from your school, we’ll offer for one of the Society’s Trustees to come and give a talk at your school, at no cost to you, for your Year 12 and 13 students. Second, we hope that participating in this competition will be really useful for Year 12 students soon to be completing UCAS applications. Success will set your students apart. You can use the poster in your school, ready for download here.

Entrants who do not choose their own topic may answer one of the following questions:

a) With the development of the ‘green economy’ globally, countries of the Gulf are likely to have to accept lower prices for oil and gas than in the past. How can the societies and economies of these countries, in particular Oman, adapt to these new realities?

b) How can countries in the Arabian Peninsula, especially Oman, develop industries that will successfully generate new jobs for their growing young populations? How might Britain collaborate in such development?

c)  Explore the changing role of women in Arabia and how traditional roles of women as ‘home-makers’ are being challenged. How do you think the position of women in Arabian society might transform in your lifetime?

d)  Choose a leading Arab figure from the history of the Arabian peninsula (from Oman if possible), and assess their achievements.

e) Omani society is considered to be highly tolerant, particularly in matters of religion. Do you agree? If so, do you attribute this to the nature of Ibadi Islam, the prevalent sect in Oman, and/or to other factors?

f) Oman, and other Arabian Peninsula countries, have monarchical systems of government, combined with structures for shura  (consultation). How do you see these systems developing as their societies face the challenges of the 21st century?

g)  Choose a challenge presented by changes in the climate and environment in the Arabian peninsula (for example, water scarcity, or a threat to wildlife). What measures do you think could or should be taken to meet such challenges?

Entries must be submitted by midnight on 15 May

Use web-sites and books if you want to research before writing. Some you may like to use:

  • Hawley, D, and Muir, R: Oman (Stacey International)
  • Davidson, C: From Sheikhs to Sultanism (Hurst)
  • Jones, J, and Ridout, N: A history of modern Oman (Cambridge)
  • Alston, R, and Laing, S: Unshook till the end of time (Gilgamesh)
  • YouTube: Witness – Saving the Leopard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA2yIaY4w4I)
  • Various articles in National Geographic (www.nationalgeographic.com)
  • Articles and podcasts on the Society’s web-site,  https://www.ao-soc.org , where you can also see last year’s winning entry.

You can find the detailed rules for the competition below.


Rules

  1. The Anglo-Omani Society 2020 competition is open to all year 12 and year 13 students studying for A-Level or the International Baccalaureate either in the UK or internationally.
  2. Immediate family members of Trustees, Vice-Presidents or employees of the Society are not eligible to take part in the Competition. The competition is free to enter and only one entry is permitted per student.
  3. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure that they are able to participate in the Competition in compliance with local laws and regulations.
  4. All entries must be submitted by email in a word document format to Dina Macki, Programme Manager at the Anglo-Omani Society, with a cover page as outlined at the bottom of the page.  Hard copies cannot be accepted. Entrants must include their contact details on this form.
  5. All entries should be submitted in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
  6. Entrants should not receive any assistance except for proofreading or for accessibility purposes. Entrants must provide details of any assistance received.
  7. Entrants agree that their entry is their own work, written solely for the purpose of the Competition, and warrant that their entry does not breach any applicable laws or regulations or infringe any third intellectual property or privacy rights, and is not in any way libellous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, harassing or threatening.
  8. Entries will be judged anonymously. Entrants should therefore include their name and school on the cover sheet, but not on the essay itself.
  9. Essays should be in English, with a maximum of 1,500 words excluding references. References to works consulted, particularly when text is reproduced or quoted, must be shown in footnotes. A bibliography may be appended (and will not be counted in the word-count), but is not essential.
  10. Entries in response to each question will be judged according to their originality, quality of writing, and quality of the argument, bearing in mind that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to the questions given above.
  11. A judging panel consisting of the Chairman of the Society and two Trustees or Vice-Presidents will select the six winners. The names of the judging panel will be made available on request. The judges' decisions shall be final. No correspondence regarding the results will be entered into.
  12. The names and schools of entries shortlisted and the winners will be published on the Society’s website and social media along with those essays which the judging panel merit publication.
  13. Any personal data which may be submitted in an entry will be processed by the Society in accordance with any applicable data protection legislation.
  14. The best overall essay will win £300. The winner will also have the opportunity for their essay to be published in the Society’s Review, subject to the approval of the editors. Unless agreed otherwise, entrants retain ownership over their entry to the Competition. By submitting an entry, entrants grant the Society a worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable, irrevocable and royalty-free licence to use, display, publish, transmit, copy and edit the entry, in whole or in part, in any way and in any media, whether now known or invented in the future.
  15. Provided essays of adequate quality are submitted, two runner-up prizes of £200 each, and three further prizes of £100 each will be awarded.
  16. No entrant can win more than one prize. The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no alternative is offered.
  17. The Society reserves the right to replace the prizes with alternative prizes of equal or higher value if necessary, and to cancel, amend or suspend the Competition, or any part of it (including these Terms and Conditions) as required by the circumstances.
  18. The winners will be notified by email or telephone or in writing (using the details provided at entry) and will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony at the Society’s headquarters in London. If the prizes are declined or unclaimed by a winner, or if a winner cannot be contacted from the details supplied within 15 business days of notification, a replacement winner may be chosen at the Society’s discretion and will be notified by the Society. The original entry that was chosen will then be forfeited. The Society will not be liable for any failure, delay or inability to contact a winner
  19. The deadline for submissions is midnight on 15 May 2021.
  20. The Society accepts no responsibility for any technical failures which may result in any entry being lost, corrupted or not properly registered. No responsibility will be taken for damaged or lost entries.
  21. The Society cannot accept responsibility for or liability arising from entrants taking part in the Competition or for taking up the prizes. The Society gives no warranty or guarantee in relation to the prizes and accepts no responsibility or liability for the prizes being amended. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Society excludes liability for all loss, damage or claim arising as a result of a participant's entry into the Competition or use of the prizes (save in the case of death or personal injury caused by the negligence of the Society).
  22. By entering the Competition, entrants agree to hold the Society harmless for liability, damages or claims for injury or loss to any person or property, relating to, directly or indirectly, participation in this Competition, or claims based on publicity rights, third party intellectual property rights, defamation or invasion of privacy
  23. The Society reserves the right to refuse entry or to refuse to award a prize to anyone in breach of the Rules.
  24. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with this Competition shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
  25. The promoter is the Anglo-Omani Society, 34 Sackville Street, London, W1S 3ED.

Example Cover Page

 

[cover page]

                                                                                                                   (For administration use only:

                                                                                                                   Entry no: …………………………)

 

Name of Entrant                         ……………………………………………………..

School                                            …………………………………………………….

Year of study (12 or 13)                         

Postal address for correspondence              ……………………………………………………………………..

                                                                        ……………………………………………………………………..

                                                                        …………………………………………………………………….

Email address                               …………………………………..

 

Chosen topic or question              ……………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

Signature:                                      …………………………………………………

 

Date:                                               ………………………………………………..

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