2011 Simerg Essay Writing Contest – $1000.00 in Cash Prizes

see details below

Winners of the essay competion “Why I am Excited About the Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre and their Park”

WINNER CATEGORY 1 (youth): Emmanuel Iduma (Nigeria)

WINNER CATEGORY 2 (open):  Zohra Nizamdin (USA)

Please click on their names to read their respective essays.

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Winners of the essay competion “Why I Like This Photo”

WINNER CATEGORY 1 (youth): Kathreen Lelis (Phillipines)

WINNER CATEGORY 2 (open):  Dana Lopez (USA)

Please click “Why I Like This Photo” to read the winning entries.

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“The aim of this contest is to encourage everyone to discover the joy and power of writing creative, intelligent, and persuasive essays”

The contest will be known as the “Mahdiya Essay Writing Contest,” and the awards will include US$1,000 in cash prizes for the 4 winners of  two short essays. The name Mahdiya has been chosen in recognition of the first capital city of the Fatimids which was founded in North Africa by Imam al-Mahdi, the 11th Ismaili Imam and first Fatimid Caliph.

The prizes, distributed in the form of money order/draft, are in addition to the original prizes of the first edition of “The Memoirs of Aga Khan”, the autobiography of Aga Khan III and “Animal Voyage” by Prince Hussain Aga Khan. The exact prize distribution is specified in the contest summary and rules below.

The writing contest will become an annual feature beginning with this 2011 initiative.

The closing date for the two contests has now been extended to April 30, 2011. No further extensions will be made. The winners will be selected by a team of judges from around the world. The winning essays will be announced and published on this Web site soon thereafter. The winners will also be announced on Ismailimail, the highly popular independent Ismaili blog which has become the best and most dependable reference source for news related to the worldwide Ismaili Muslim community.

This contest provides a wonderful opportunity for students, the youth as well as adults to develop and write their thoughts about the iconic projects that are being built on Wynford Drive in Toronto, Canada, by the 49th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. Please read the guidelines below, and share your grandest aspirations or imagination about this “Gift to Toronto” and, indeed, our world by His Highness the Aga Khan. Participate in this exciting contest where you can contribute meaningfully, simultaneously being recognized for your creative and thoughtful writing skills and talent.

Finally, in addition to the $1000.00 being offered as cash prizes to the winners, a total of upto six entries deemed as honourable mentions by the judging panel will each receive a gift card or cash in the amount of $US 50.00. Canadian and USA honourable mentions will receive a gift card from Chapters and Barnes & Nobles respectively, and overseas entries will receive the amount in the form of a money order.

We look forward to reading your entries and being part of your thoughtful world to ignite and open our eyes on multiple levels about the historic creation of “The Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre and Their Park.”  To assist you in this endeavour, we have provided links to numerous articles and speeches.

Thank you.

Abdulmalik Merchant
Publisher-Editor
Simerg.com

SUMMARY

1. The first will be a short essay of 300 – 500 words on the topic, “Why I am Excited about The Aga Khan Museum, The Ismaili Centre and Their Park.”

2. The second will be a short description where, in no more than 125 words, the participant will describe “Why I like this photo” for any one photo the participant chooses from the photo essay (see the link below).

3. There will be two age categories for each essay – a youth category (ages 18-24) and an open category (25 years and over).

4. The winner of the youth category for the essay competition, “Why I am Excited…” will receive a cash prize of $400.00 as well as an out of print copy of “The Memoirs of Aga Khan” (UK, 1954, 1st edition). A DVD of the Aga Khan Museum will also be included.

5. The winner of the open category for the essay competition  “Why I am Excited…” will receive a cash prize of $300.00 as well as an out of print copy of “The Memoirs of Aga Khan” (UK, 1954, 1st edition). A DVD of the Aga Khan Museum will also be included.

6. The winner of the youth category for “Why I Like this Photo”  will receive a cash prize of $175.00 as well Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s enchanting photo book “Animal Voyage.” A DVD of the Aga Khan Museum will also be included.

7. The winner of the open category for “Why I Like this Photo”  will receive a cash prize of $125.00 as well as Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s enchanting photo book “Animal Voyage.” A DVD of the Aga Khan Museum will also be included.

RULES

1. The competition is free to enter.

2. Youth (18 to 24) and adults (25 and over) are invited to participate.

3. We encourage the participation of youth and adults from diverse cultural backgrounds and geographical locations.

4. The essay “Why I am excited about the Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre and their Park,” should be between 300 and 500 words.

5. The photo essay, “Why I Like this Photo,” is limited to 125 words. A participant may only select one photo of his/her choice from the entire photo essay, and describe why he/she likes it. The photo slide show may be viewed by clicking any one of the following links:

PHOTO ESSAY: PDF presentation (Recommended)

PHOTO ESSAY: Powerpoint Presentation

PHOTO ESSAY: Regular Web Pages

6. All submissions must be in the English language.

7. Entries should be emailed to simergessay@aol.com or simerg@aol.com  in one of the following formats: WordPerfect, Word, PDF, RTF or as an email.

8. Entries should include the following information:

a. A short biographical note (to introduce the applicant – limit it to 75 words). Participant’s age, birth date, school, and (OPTIONAL) a small photo are also required.

b. Participant’s full contact details (email address, telephone number(s), complete postal address, town, country). This information must be provided in the body of the email

9. The  e-mail subject should read “Entry for Essay Contest.”

10. Entries should be submitted by April 30, 2011.

11. Winners will be declared on this Web site sometime during the latter half of August 2011.

12. The decisions made by the panel of judges (see list below) will be final.

13. The participants will ensure that their essays do not infringe on anyone’s copyright material when developing the essays.

14. All participants in this contest implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

AIMS OF THE CONTEST

1. To use Albert Einstein’s quote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world,” one of the primary aims of the essay will be to encourage everyone to discover the joy and power of writing creative, intelligent, and persuasive essays.

2. To promote a culture of writing and reading among youth and the public.

3. To make the viewers at large more engaged in these projects, by both reading the essays and commenting on them.

4. To enhance and enlighten the readers’ views of what other people are thinking about these three projects.

WINNERS

1. The winners will be announced sometime in August/September 2011, on this Web site, http://www.simerg.com.

2. The winning essays will be published on http://www.simerg.com.

The Memoirs of Aga Khan

3. Winner of the best essay, “Why I am Excited…” for each of the two age groups (i.e. 18 – 24 and 25 and over) will receive a cash prize as mentioned above, a good used copy of “The Memoirs of Aga Khan”, and a DVD of the Aga Khan Museum.

Animal Voyage

4. Winner of the photo description, “Why I Like this Photo”  for teach of the two age groups (i.e. 18 – 24 and 25 and over) will receive a cash prize as mentioned above, a brand new copy of the  photo book “Animal Voyage” by Hussain Aga Khan (2008), and a DVD of the Aga Khan Museum.

Note: To read more about the two books shown above, please click Collections.

5. Also, upto six entries deemed as honourable mentions by the judging panel will each receive a gift card or cash in the amount of $US50.00 plus a DVD of the Aga Khan Museum. Canadian and USA honourable mentions will receive a gift card from Chapters and Barnes & Nobles respectively, and overseas entries will receive the amount in the form of a money order.

6. Thus the total maximum cash amount available for the contest will be $1300.00 ($1000.00 for winning essays, and $300.00 for honourable mentions).

SELECTION CRITERIA

The judge’s selection for the essays will be based on the following:

1. Originality and personal vision.

2. Relevance of the essay to the three projects.

3. Quality of language (engaging writing style, good spelling and grammar etc.)

4. Demonstration of a thorough understanding of the three projects.

AN INTERNATIONAL PANEL OF JUDGES

The following individuals have kindly agreed to judge the competition:

1. Mr. Bruni Freschi, O.C. (Order of Canada), Vancouver, Canada – Architect, Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Burnaby
2. Dr. Aziz Kurwa, London, UK – Medical Professional
3. Professor Arif Babul, Vancouver, Canada – Astrophysicist
4. Mr. Zulfikar Khoja, Ottawa, Canada – Educator
5. Dr. Navyn Naran, New York, USA- Medical Professional
6. Mr. Jim Bowie, Toronto, Canada – Hobbyst Photographer and Realtor
7. Mr. Iqbal Motani, Ottawa, Canada – Accountant/Auditor
8. Ms. Shellyza Moledina, London, UK – Pharmacy Student, Writer and Singer

DISCLAIMERS AND EXCLUSIONS

Simerg reserves the right to not award the prizes if the number and quality of the entries do not meet the jury’s expectation. This decision will be made by the judges.

Simerg looks forward to a good participation, and interesting responses.

SELECTED RESOURCES

Aga Khan Museum articles at AKDN
The Aga Khan’s speech at the Foundation Ceremony
Aga Khan Museum collection - article at theIsmaili.org
Article in Nomeancity.net
Ismaili Centres – A special coverage at theIsmaili.org
Urban Toronto article

The above list is by no means complete. Numerous other articles are posted on the internet.

Date this announcement posted on Simerg: December 13, 2010
Latest update: September 4, 2011

Copyright: Simerg.com

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Please click for article/photos of Mahdiya, after which the essay competion is named.

We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. Please use the LEAVE A REPLY box which appears below. Your feedback may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. We are unable to acknowledge unpublished letters.

Please visit the Simerg Home page for links to articles posted most recently. For links to articles posted on this Web site since its launch in March 2009, please click What’s New.

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6 thoughts on “2011 Simerg Essay Writing Contest – $1000.00 in Cash Prizes

  1. Thank you, administrators of Simerg.com for such a rich and historical collection on global Ismailism. These are great archival items gathered by Simerg. Good Luck!!!

  2. Very interesting and creative initiative for engaging the youth around the globe on one platform. I hope it achieves the aims and objectives mentioned. Good luck :)

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