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Slam It By: Yara Khatib Intro  

Stand up.  Exhale.  Moisten  your  lips.  Swallow.  Slam.     SLAM   IT!,   founded   in   2011   by   students   Smita   Sen   and   Paniz   Sehat   Niaki,     is   an   organization   centered   on   encouraging   individuals   to   “express   themselves   in   honor   of  those  who  cannot”  –  to  take  advantage  of  the  privilege  of  being  heard.  And  we  are   the  UAE’s  first  annual  Slam  Poetry  competition.     We   focus   on   raising   awareness   of   the   difficulties   faced   by   Autistic   individuals   and   their  families,  recognizing  that  Autism  hinders  one’s  ability  to  communicate.     While  raising  awareness  of  Autism,  we  engage  individuals  in  the  rising  art  of  spoken   word   poetry,   helping   them   appreciate   the  fact   that   they   can   express   themselves   and   be  immediately/EASILY  understood.     We  host  inter-­‐school  poetry  slams  to  create  a  stage  for  people  of  all  ages.  We  give   them  an  audience  and  an  opportunity  to  really  express  themselves  and  be  heard.    

The event

Last   year,   “SLAM IT!” had its first grand opening in the Universal American School Dubai (UAS) library on the 12th of May 2011, with a large audience pouring in to witness the one-of-a-kind talents of the performers. The students and the teachers took the stage with original compositions of poetry, rap, and creative writing, performed with utmost passion and confidence. The show was so impressive that the Fine Arts Booster Club (FABC) SLAM IT! and its noble cause   This   year,   SLAM   IT!   organized   the   UAE’s   first-­‐ever   interschool   poetry   slam   competition.     Students   from   Al   Ittihad   Private   School,   Dubai   American   Academy,   Emirates   International   School,   the   International   School   of   Choueifat   Sharjah,   and   the  


Universal American   School   competed   before   a   live   audience   for   the   grand   prize   –   1000  AED  and  the  title,  Master  of  Slam  2012.     We   featured   a   speaker   from   the   Dubai   Autism   Center,   Ms.   Maya   Helou,   to   speak   about   the   cause,   and   a   panel   of   Guest   Judges,   including   Dr.   Gunther   Brandt,   Director   of   the   host   school,   UAS,   Ms.   Maha   Gargash,   the   renowned   Emirati   writer   and   author   of  The  Sand  Fish,  and  UAS  History  teacher  Mr.  Lauer,  who  majored  in  English.       At  the  groundbreaking  event  that  took  place  on  the  evening  of  April  4th,  poet     Jennah  Fakhouri  from  Al  Ittihad  Private  School  received  roaring  applause  and  took   home  the  Grand  Prize  for  her  poem,  Let  Them  Be  Free.  She  was  our  Master  of  Slam   2012.  Second  prize  went  to  Nidaa  Rasheed,  from  Dubai  American  Academy,  for  her   moving   poem,   This   is   Me,   while   third   prize   went   to   the   impressive   Jade   Marion,   a   poet  in  Grade  7,  for  her  poem      

Next year   For   the   upcoming   year   2013,   future   president   Yara   Khatib   plans   on   taking   the  event  to  whole  new  levels.  Her,  along  with  Vice-­‐president  Danya  Zituni,  hope  to   broaden   the   event   to   schools   all   across   the   UAE,   from   Sharjah   to   Abu   Dhabi,   and   move  the  event  to  a  more  suitable  venue  for  larger  audiences.         As  the  following  SLAM  IT!  year  progresses,  they  plan  on  holding  performance   preparation   classes   to   help   increase   the   efficiency   and   perceptibility   of   the   poems   that  each  contestant  plans  on  reciting  at  the  event.  They  plan  on  making  sure  that   each  poem  is  not  just  heard,  but  felt.         Students   of   all   ages   and   backgrounds   are   welcome   to   compete   and   express   themselves  in  this  outstanding  event,  so  to  the  aspiring  poets  out  there,  be  prepared   to  express  it,  feel  it,  bring  it,  SLAM  IT!      

6- SLAM IT-1  

The event 13

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