As the Sultanate celebrated the 49th Oman National Day, Y Magazine once again brought the nation’s young talent together to paint their patriotism with the 6th annual Portrait By A Nation competition. Now, it’s time to announce this year’s finalists.
Y’s Portrait By A Nation wrapped up its 6th annual competition in honour of the 49th Oman National Day this past weekend on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at Mall of Muscat. Presented by Ahli Bank, Powered by Mazoon Dairy and Asian Paints Berger, in Association with Mall of Muscat, Minara, OSCO Shapoorji Pallonji, and Staedtler, and with Support Partners Nizwa Grand Mall, My City Centre Sur, Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, and City Centre Suhar, young artists from schools across the Sultanate came together to create a unique piece of art as a lasting tribute to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The competition kicked off across Oman’s interiors on November 8 in Nizwa at Nizwa Grand Mall and Salalah at the Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, and on November 9 in Sur at My City Centre Sur and Sohar at City Centre Suhar. This year’s event saw 2,900 children nationwide in both the interiors and the capital region flock to take part. Using their utmost creativity and imagination to paint a portrait of His Majesty, the sky was the limit to the array of ways they chose to express their love for our nation through their art.
Many of our valued sponsors were on-site during the competition to show their support and encouragement for our nation’s batches of talented young artists – and PBAN Presenting Sponsor Ahli Bank was one of them.
Here, Hanaa Mohammed Al Kharusi, General Manager – Corporate Banking, Ahli Bank, tells why they continue to lend their support to this event year-after-year.
Y: Why has PBAN remained an event of singular importance over the years for Ahli Bank as our valued Presenting Sponsor?
HMAK: Ahli Bank continues its support of social initiatives. With a plethora of corporate social responsibility activities, it has always contributed to the socio-economic development of the Sultanate. The 6th Annual Y Portrait by A Nation event encourages participation in the arts and is a great opportunity for the youth of Oman to come forward to celebrate Oman National Day. It’s also in line with the Ahli Bank’s efforts to become instrumental in supporting social initiatives that work for the well-being and progress of the people of Oman.
Y: Can you comment on how such events help to instill a culture of creative expression among our nation’s younger generation?
HMAK: Any form of an art enriches the life of an individual. Such platforms help in fostering and developing art through diverse and engaging experiences. It’s also a great way to contribute to the economy and boost tourism. Arts and culture also provide resources and education, help people come together for a common cause, and provide an environment for creative experiences and development. They foster creativity and initiative, imagination, emotional intelligence, and freedom of thought. Art events such as PBAN are a perfect platform for the younger generation to express themselves, showcase their talent and, at the same time, offer gratitude to His Majesty and the beautiful country of Oman. It’s a pleasure for us to be associated with such events and help in fostering the youth of the nation.
Y: In what ways is Ahli Bank committed to strengthening and enriching its ties with the local community?
HMAK: Ahli Bank’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are a part of its commitment to contribute to the development and the well-being of the nation. The series of initiatives across the country are aimed to complement the government’s efforts for socio-economic development across local communities. In the past few years, Ahli Bank has launched several CSR initiatives including Ahli Cares – a socially conscious bank – and its CSR work comprises everything from government to private sectors, and non-governmental organizations.
Y: What words of encouragement do you have for this year’s round of finalists?
HMAK: It’s a matter of pride for us to be associated with this event. It’s a pleasure to see how these young minds transform their imagination on a canvas. There is immense talent in our country, and we would like to be always supportive to such initiatives. We continue to encourage these youngsters to come forward and pursue their passion. Every child is special and can make a difference in this world. They shouldn’t shy away from what they love to do and strive to develop their skills, work on their expertise, and build on their talent. Ahli Bank is always there to support such initiatives and also has a team that work under its programme Ahli Cares, which primarily supports social causes and works towards the well-being of the people.
Y: Do you think Oman can do even more on a national level to encourage and offer a platform for Omani artistic talent?
HMAK: There is immense talent in this nation but there are limited platforms to showcase them. Moreover, there’s a need to create more awareness about the existing platforms. With the emergence of new media and better understanding about fostering arts and culture, the nation is moving in the right direction. A lot of initiatives have been kicked off to encourage the youth and create an environment conducive for the development and discovery of new talent on a national level. Corporates and other organizations should encourage employees to volunteer for such events. A joint effort would definitely help put Oman on the global map and foster their youth’s capabilities, unlock their hidden skills, and enable them to pursue their talent.
Y: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s finalist’s showcase and awards ceremony from a sponsor’s perspective?
HMAK: Art is an expression of one’s self and feelings of the individual, We look forward to encouraging the youth as they’ve come out in greater numbers this year to come together, share experiences, and have a platform to express their individuality – and Ahli Bank will always be a part of social initiatives that help people grow.
Y: What would you like our readers and PBAN participants and finalists to know about Ahli Bank as a brand and one of the Sultanate’s most trusted financial institutions?
HMAK: Reflecting the ethos of responsible banking, Ahli Bank attaches strategic importance to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that complement the Omani government’s efforts for socio-economic development across local communities. Going forward, Ahli Bank remains committed to its prudent growth strategy to maintain a winning streak of excellence and maximize value for all stakeholders and the community at large. We will continue expanding the branch network of Ahli Bank and Ahli Islamic across Oman, while keeping pace with changing market demands to tailor innovative customer-centric services.
5-9 Age Category
10-13 Age Category
14-17 Age Category
About Y Portrait By A Nation
One of the biggest events of the year in Oman, Y’s Portrait By A Nation saw an impressive number of 2,900 entries received from children ages 5-17 years-old from Muscat, Nizwa, Sur, Sohar, and Salalah this year.
Children received a different sized canvas and a different portrait of His Majesty, across three age categories of competition:
5-9 years – Canvas size 20cm x 30cm
10-13 years – Canvas size 30cm x 40cm
14-17 years – Canvas size 40cm x 50cm
Forty-nine (49) finalists have been selected from participants – 17 from the ages 5-9 category, and 16 each from the ages 10-13 and 14-17 age categories, with three winners chosen among them from each age category, for a chance to win prizes worth a total of RO2,550. Each winner will win a prize worth RO500 in each age category, while runners-up will win prizes valued at RO250 in each age category, and there will be RO100 for third place in each age category.
Championing the patriotic heart of the nation through the artistic expression of the young generation, Y’s Portrait By A Nation is featured across all of SABCO Media’s platforms, including Y Magazine, Merge 104.8, Al Wisal, and Virgin Radio Oman 100.9 FM.
Portrait by A Nation Milestones:
The competition was held on Friday, November 8 in Nizwa and Salalah, Saturday, November 9 in Sur and Sohar, and on Friday November 15 and Saturday, November 16 in Muscat as, over two days, thousands of children created their own special pieces of art on the canvasses given to them with a pre-printed sketch of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. This initiative not only encouraged talent but provided children with a platform to bring out their best artistic efforts while taking pride in their work.
Judging took place on November 18 at Mall of Muscat, and included sponsors, representatives of Team Y, and eminent local artist Budoor Al Riyami.
The panel has selected 17 winners from the ages five to nine category and 16 finalists from the ages 10-13 and 14-17 age categories each for a total of 49 finalists.
Conducted in a 5-star venue, the Y Portrait By A Nation awards function will be held on Monday, December 2 at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat and will see sponsors interacting with the 49 finalists from the three age categories. The finalists, along with their families, will be invited to be awarded commendation certificates and prizes. The event will be followed by dinner.
Special coverage in Y Magazine
After the competition, there will be continuing special coverage in Y Magazine which will feature the works of the young artists along with their interviews, and those from sponsors and eminent local artists.