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Friday, October 30, 2015

UPU News : Letter-Writing Competition winner honoured in Berne

Sara Jadid from Lebanon, the winner of the 44th UPU International Letter-Writing Competition, was in Berne on Wednesday at the Universal Postal Union to receive her prize from the Director General Bishar A. Hussein.

 Sara Jadid on the UPU's terrace in Berne with her certificate (Photo: Marcel Bieri/keystone)
“'Jadid' means something new and bright, which Sara certainly is,” Hussein told an audience of international delegates and dignitaries.
For her part, Layla, Sara’s mother, who was also in Berne, praised the competition for encouraging literacy.
“In a world where children are glued to their devices, competitions like the UPU one play an important part in helping kids express them properly in writing,” the mother of eight said.
The Director General would agree. “We are likely to lose the passion for letter-writing if we do not keep these kinds of events and this spirit alive,” he said.
When Sara heard about the theme of the UPU’s 2015 Letter-Writing Competition – “Write a letter about the world you want to grow up in” – she was immediately inspired.
“I thought that it would be my opportunity to express myself,” she said as the world she wants to grow up in is not the world she sees around her.
Sara comes from a deprived area in the city of Tripoli in Lebanon and has been no stranger to war and conflict in her thirteen years.

Undeniable talent

Sara’s letter is a heartfelt appeal, “soaked with tears of despair”, to all those people working to destroy her dreams.
In moving language, the letter presents a detailed and poetic description of this dream world longed for by Sara.
With strong emotion, she condemns the hatred, war and sectarianism she has witnessed and imagines a new better world under “the moon of openness and the sun of freedom”.
“Beyond her undeniable talent, Sara represents the best that Lebanon has to offer, with her message of peace, hope and tolerance,” LibanPost CEO Khalil Daoud said at the ceremony. 
He spoke of the sacrifices Sara’s parents had made to provide a good environment for their children to grow and thrive.
LibanPost awarded Sara a cash prize, part of which will to contribute to her education over the next three years.

Giving thanks

Showing self-assurance and composure beyond her years, Sara addressed the Berne audience in French, Arabic and English.
She thanked her parents and teachers and spoke with great fondness of her five sisters and two brothers, paying tribute to their individual qualities.
Sara was accompanied on her trip to Switzerland by her mother, part of the UPU prize.
“I see you, my World, as a rainbow that appears after crises, in which no religion will conquer another and no skin colour will be superior to another. You are a world that transcends human conflict,” her letter reads.
In the future, Sara wishes for nothing more than to remain in her home country, complete her studies and work.


Her success has inspired many of her fellow citizens, according to Mansour Chaya, chargé des affaires ad interim from the Lebanese Embassy, Berne.
“Despite everything that is happening in Lebanon – two million refugees, and terrorists knocking at our door – we have this example of a young Lebanese sending a message of peace to the whole world,” Chaya told the gathering.
This year, 65 member countries submitted their winning letters from the national heats to the international round. Some 1.5 million children participated.
The international jury also awarded a silver medal to Miriam Campos Acin, an 11-year-old girl from Spain and the bronze to Silva Brito Leonardo, a 15-year-old boy from Brazil.

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