By: Muscat Daily staff writer

MUSCAT: With each semifinal round, the Muscat Daily Listen Up competition seems to be getting better. The Sohar International School saw its students battle it out with words to enter the final round.

The event kicked off with students presenting a play on the importance of friendship. This was followed by students of different nationalities reciting poems in Arabic.

The contest began with a prepared speech by Hasna Soufian Adboul Alhman Blidi of the middle category. She spoke on If I Had A Superpower and said that she wants to fly.

Haneen Hatem Mohammed of the same category, was able to keep the audience engaged with her speeches. While speaking on her unprepared topic, A Book That Inspired Me, she said the work Thirteen Reasons Why was the one that inspired her the most. The book is about a young girl who gives 13 reasons why she committed suicide.

Nawaf Khalid Ahmed al Shezawi, who won in the middle category, had floored the audience with his flair for speaking and poise. Nawaf in his prepared speech laid out reasons why his pocket money should be increased. He said he needed more money since he was fond of footwear and clothes. He also explained inflation and how it reduced the value of money.

“Money seems less due to inflation and this little secret is not told to us by our families.” In the unprepared speech, he spoke on Things That Make Me Mad. “I hate the sound people make when they chew crisps. It’s like they are chewing my brains. I wish they could eat without making noise. I also hate it when my parents come and wake me up. I am careful not to disturb them when they are sleeping.”

Another thing that bothered him was doing homework at 12am. “I also hate it when couples giggle and discuss the film they are watching in theatres.”

The senior category had two participants, Mohammed Saqib Niaz and Rabiya Zeeshan. Mohammed’s prepared speech was on One Week Without Internet. He gave his friends a list of things they could do when they are unable to use the Internet. In the unprepared speech, he spoke on Has Technology Changed the World.

“If technology has helped connecting people, it has also created differences among neighbours as face to face communication is absent.” The winner in the senior category was Rabiya Zeeshan. She spoke on the prepared topic If Women Ruled the World.

“If women ruled world, they would take compassionate decisions.” She nailed her victory with her speech on In an Ideal Society… . “An ideal society would someday exist if people did not discriminate on the basis of gender.”