Children’s competition at Japan Embassy

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The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) organised Japan Children Art Competition and Speech Contest at the National Art Gallery (NAG) on Thursday. The contest provided the opportunity to school kids to freely express their ideas using the arts and speech, in memory of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastation.
The event also aimed to promote creativity in the young students and to enhance diplomatic ties between Tokyo and Islamabad. The Japanese embassy has been arranging this event annually in various cities of Pakistan since 1995. Various schools in Islamabad and Rawalpindi participated in the art and speech competition which also informed them about Japan. Newly arrived Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Oe, with his spouse Midori Oe, PNCA President Syed Ijlal Haider Zaidi, and PNCA Acting Director General Hassan Abbas Raza attended the event as guests of honour.
On the occasion, two 12-to-14-year-old students from each school drew pictures in the art competition on a theme of their own choice but related to Japan-Pakistan friendship. NAG Director-Curator and visual artist Mussarrat Nahid Imam, Fauzia Minallah who is an artist and self-publisher of a bilingual children’s book on Sadako, along with a Japanese embassy representative made up the judges’ panel for the art competition.
Similarly, one student from each school competed in the speech competition in Urdu on a topic related to Japan. The panel of judges for the speech competition comprised of Islamabad Model College for Girls (ICG) Assistant Professor Nabila Sajjad, Tahira Ikram, Post Graduate College Associate Professor (r) Waqar-un-Nisa, Monbukagakusho Alumni Association of Pakistan former President Sultan Sikander Khan, and a representative from the embassy. The prize winners for the art competition were Maheen Shahid from The City School who won the first prize; Mohammad Hamza from Beaconhouse Margalla Campus won the second prize, while Dilawaiz Sultan of St.
Mary’s Cambridge School claimed the third prize. The names of the prize winners in the speech competition included Summiya Najam of Bahria College who got the first prize; Abdullah Amir of Joint Staff School & College won the second prize while Tayyaba Aslam from Springfield Public School, Rawalpindi bagged third position. The guests of honour awarded certificates and souvenirs to the position holders and all students were given certificates of participation.
Addressing on the occasion, Hiroshi Oe said this was his first time at such an event since his arrival in Pakistan that showed how extremely intelligent Pakistani children were and how they stood for the bright future of their country. “We believe that the Art and Speech Competition about Japan will help strengthen our existing friendship and will develop cultural understanding among the peoples of the two countries,” Oe said.
The ambassador said, appreciating the students’ skills, “I have noticed how well you have expressed your thoughts and ideas about Japan-Pakistan friendship, Japanese culture, language and technology. You are all gifted artists and orators and you have put in great efforts to learn about Japan”. He congratulated the winners and spoke highly about the role of teachers and parents in nurturing the participating youngsters and supporting them to take part in all these contests.