First national talent competition held in Yemen
The competition, which kicked off on March 10, 2012 at Movenpick Hotel in the capital Sana’a, is set to last four weeks.
The competition, which has drawn the attention of many Yemenis, aims to highlight the hidden talents of the Yemeni youth, and encourage such an essential segment of society to take part in the decision-making processes as well as in building the new modern state.
It seeks to empower 1,000 young male and female participants, and encourage them to embrace the culture of dialogue and of accepting the other. It’s a youth showcase designed to discover the talent, innovation, and capabilities of youth aged between 16 and 25, and to raise the talented into stardom.
During the competition, the youth will get to realize their potential in various fields such as singing, dancing, drawing and sculpture.
The participants should pass through three stages of the competition until the most talented are recognized by the panels and helped to climb the ladder of fame. Some participants are eliminated by the jury in the first stage, who are aiming to pick the best performers out.
By the end of the contest, ten talented youth in two sections will be announced as winners and awarded valuable prizes.
The competition committee
“The key purpose of the competition is to get the Yemeni youth out of the current depressing, stressful atmosphere in the country, and get them to be indulged in the art world away of the unrest that has hit Yemen lately,” said Salah Shamsan, a member of the coordination committee.
“The competition will provide them [the talented youth] with a lifetime opportunity and a platform to showcase their talent to the whole world,” he added.
Jizan Al-Jaradi, an executive shareholder of Apex, said “I was astonished by the high turnout of the participants, especially bearing in mind the short media promotion for the competition that has not been given its due media hype.”
Al-Jaradi indicated that enthusiasm and hyper interaction had eclipsed the political differences among the participants, who have different backgrounds and views, and united them regardless of their dissimilar talents.
The ‘Sea of Talents’ competition is divided into two sections, one for evaluating talents such as singing, dancing, and acting, and one encompassing fine arts like painting and sculpture. Each section has its own specialized judging panel.
While Fuad Al-Sharjabi, a representative of the House of Yemeni Music, Amal Ismail, the famous Yemeni actress, and Khaled Qahtan are the jury members for the performance section, the fine arts panel is composed of Ziriab Al-Aghbari, Ayed Al-Ayed and Mona Al-Mutawakil.
The ‘Sea of Talent’
The Movenpick Hotel reception hall was crowded with many young men and women who streamed in large numbers to participate in the competition in the hopes that their talent might be recognized. Enthusiasm was, apparently, the common characteristic among them.
The Rock City Band, which is composed of 18 young members, whose age range from 12 to 20, displayed western-style hip-hop and rap dancing skills.
“The experience of the Sea of Talent program raised our enthusiasm and we brought out our best in order to introduce the art of hip-hop dancing to the Yemeni people,” said a member of the band.
Raed Gilan, 21, and Saad Al-Kamal, 22, came to the Movenpick Hotel, accompanied by their theatre teacher Mohammed Al-Shawri to perform an acting scene in front of the panel. Gilan and Al-Kamal said their goal in participating in the competition is to attain stardom and fame.
Amani Mohammed, 19, said she was a girl of many talents and therefore she would compete in singing, acting, and mimicry. She noted that her family’s encouragement and her drive were the main factors behind developing her potential, adding that it would have been better if there was a competition specially for girls.
“Yemen is full of talents, but they are buried due to old, entrenched traditions and customs,” she said.
Osama Al-Ghbari, 18, was among the youth who participated in singing. Speaking of the activity, he said he had exited the panel room with his moral up and that he expected to be selected by the panel to go through to the second stage.
The Yemen Times, the first English language newspaper in Yemen, will cover the development of events in the unprecedented, first of its kind talent competition in Yemen through the next stages.
Yemen’s ’Sea of Talent’ is similar to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘Arab’s Got Talent’ competitions that were designed to discover hidden talents.