Seventeen-year-old Bahraini student Mohammed Zafar is all set to fly to Australia, courtesy of Gulf Air, to take part in the World Youth Scrabble Championship (WYSC).
At the three-day youth “word Olympics,” being held from 1 December at the University of Wollongong, near Sydney, Mohammed will show his word wizardry in the event that will see nearly 60 under 18 year olds from about 20 countries competing.
“As the airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, we’re very supportive of promising national youth, who are the real assets of the country,” says Gulf Air Vice President Marketing and Sales Lee Shave. “This is a wonderful opportunity to promote Bahrain in Australia, where we recommenced daily services three years ago.”
At an assembly of Gulf scrabble players in Bahrain last June, Mohammed, along with twins Nadeesha and Nilusha Hemachandra from Oman, were declared qualifiers from the Gulf for the championship.
"I am very thrilled," says an excited Mohammed. "Gulf Air providing my flight tickets to Sydney is a great help. Without the ticket I might not have planned to go to the WYSC.”
Selected according to a quota system by national scrabble groups in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, participants at the WYSC will have about 20 games to play over three days, before a best-of-five is staged between the top two youth supremos.
An active member of the Bahrain Scrabble League, Mohammed is honing up his analytical skills, board strategy and game techniques, aiming for the top prizes to the championship: an automatic seat at next year’s ninth World Scrabble Championship, the WYSC cup and some of the AUS$ 5,000 in prize money.
A final year student at the Pakistan Urdu School, Mohammed started playing the mind game just a little over three years ago. Besides scores of national tournaments, he has competed in six international events including one in Oman.
While physical sports are often team oriented, mind games like Scrabble usually put the player on his or her own, helping to strengthen and expand the vocabulary and making the competitor feel more comfortable in the language. Scrabble can be played in nearly 40 languages, from Arabic to Turkish.
About Gulf Air
Founded in 1950, Gulf Air, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, is the only truly Pan Gulf carrier in the Middle East region.
The regional, geographic and cultural values that the airline has embraced over more than half a century are still central to defining its brand and service ethos.
Today the airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 50 cities in 30 countries. The fleet comprises 34 aircraft and has the distinct advantage of possessing the strongest network across the Middle East.
A platform for sustained commercial operation has been established over the past three years as part of a multi-phased turnaround programme. It has also provided a framework for a succession of innovative products and services including the unique Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies that form part of Gulf Air’s ’smart airline, successful business’ vision.
International recognition has been achieved as a result of the turnaround programme leading to numerous awards for the airline’s innovative and high quality products and services: These include:
• Best Onboard Catering in First and Business Class (Skytrax World Airline Catering Awards 2005)
• Best designed in-flight magazine (American Creativity Awards,2005)
• Middle East Leading First Class Airline (World Travel Awards 2005)
• World’s Leading Airport Lounge (World Travel Awards 2005)
• Middle East & North African Platinum Best Airline (MENA Travel Awards 2004
• Most Improved Airline (Skytrax Awards 2004)
• Middle East First Class Airline (Arabian Business Awards)
• Best new product launch for in-flight services (PAX international Readership Awards)
• Best First Class Onboard Food (Skytrax Food Category 2004)
• Best Business Class Check-in (Skytrax Check-in Category 2004)
• Middle East region’s best airport restaurant for its restaurant in Bahrain International Airport lounge (PAX International Readership Awards 2005)
© 2000 - 2020 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)