By Jumana Khamis
Dubai: In line with International Women’s Day, the seventh edition of the Philadelphia’s ‘Creativity for a Cause’ campaign has opened its doors to women in the GCC, announced Mondelez International, organisers of the event yesterday (March 7).
The campaign invites women to pursue their ambition and be catalysts of progress by conceiving simple ideas that can have a strong impact on community progress.
Submissions will be examined by four inspiring women — Sarah Al Beloushi, Emirati photography enthusiast and travel and lifestyle blogger; Shahd Thani, an Emirati writer; Hadeel Al Hussain, Saudi entrepreneur, visual artist, and fashion designer; and Esra Al Hamal, Saudi interior designer and travel blogger.
“This year we are also collaborating with universities to integrate the cause within university programmes. We want to reach out to young women who have plenty of creative ideas but no platform to develop them,” said Vishal Tikku, president, Meals, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa for Mondelez International.
The partner university winner will receive a Dh50,000 prize for their idea, he added.
“I believe that there are no limits to what a woman can imagine and achieve. The campaign is a great platform for women in the region to embark on their much-awaited journeys,” said Fadia Al Taweel, campaign ambassador.
The campaign received more than 610 submissions last year, and managed to reach out to over a million women in the region and beyond, by encouraging creativity and change.
Emirati mentor Al Beloushi told Gulf News that after reviewing last year’s submissions, she found that many ideas were based on improving an existing services or concepts in a community. “I am looking forward to seeing the ideas submitted this year, and I’m eager to help them develop these ideas in creative ways,” she said.
Al Beloushi’s own journey to creativity began when she was an art student. After using drawing and painting as a form of expression, she quickly discovered a new passion, photography.
Emirati writer Shahd Thani, another mentor at this year’s campaign, said she hopes her experience in mentoring young writers at the ‘Untitled Chapter’ community, a group that encourages Emirati writers to express their stories through words, will help her in the campaign. “I feel like I have a lot to contribute in mentoring women who need to build confidence and empower those who may be a little insecure,” said Thani.
The winner of the Emirates Literature Foundation’s first Mentorship Programme, Thani said she grew up in a creative environment. “I have been writing since I was eight years old. My mum is a big reader, my dad is a writer, and my sisters are cartoonists, so writing has been a discipline I have grown up with,” said Thani.
How to enter
Participants can submit their ideas on www.phillyarabia.com, from March 8 to April 9.
Mentors will shortlist eight ideas, which will qualify for an intensive mentoring workshop, and will be opened to public voting.
The contestant with the most creative idea will receive Dh100,000 as prize money.
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