(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The semifinal round of Muscat Daily Listen Up at Qurum Private School (QPS) was held on Tuesday. QPS students kept the audience on the edge of their seats with songs, poetry recitations and presentations.
The middle category contestants (aged 11-14 years) were up first and Zainab Hassan Bakir, the first speaker, presented her views on If I had a superpower, it would be...'. She spoke eloquently on the reason why she believed superpowers should not exist, stating that people would abuse them for personal gain.
Rahaf Mousa Fuad Tbaileh, who spoke on Where should phone use be restricted' for her unprepared speech, said phones weren't allowed in schools for a good reason, and using the phone while dining is impolite.
Manal Mohammed Khamis al Raisi gave a hilarious speech on Manners matter' in her prepared speech. She said that body odour was disrespectful to others, and that nobody wants to be close to someone who ''smells of sweat and onions.''
Nisreen Shukiri al Suleiman, who spoke on If I had a superpower, it would be...', said superhuman speed would give her the ability to take people to hospital faster than ambulances.
In her unprepared speech on Are pets still necessary in the world?', she explained that pets were very good, and she valued their unconditional love.
Jules Abi Hanna, the last contestant in the middle category spoke on Manners matter', and she explained the importance of words like please', and thanks'. The crowd erupted in laughter while she spoke on Should teenagers be allowed to drive cars?' in her impromptu speech. She said, in no uncertain terms, that letting teenagers drive would be a horrible idea and that only people who are mature should be allowed behind the wheel.
Kareem Mahmood Faiq Zaidan was the first to speak in the senior category (15-18 years). In his prepared speech on One week without the Internet, Kareem explained that a week without the Internet would be unimaginable in this day and age as governments and banking relies heavily on the Internet.
Marina Ayoub Issa Oghanna and Sara Ali Salim al Habsi both chose the topic If I could pass one law, it would be...' in their prepared speech category. Marina would pass a law ensuring equal distribution of wealth, while Sara would abolish the death penalty.
Marina's unprepared speech impressed everyone in the audience. Speaking on Are exams still necessary?' she said that they enhance our ability to think, create and imagine, while allowing us to apply what has been taught to us.
Sara chose Can one person change the world?' for her unprepared speech. Giving the examples of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, she concluded that one person can make a difference. ''But all should work together to change things for the better.''
Buthaina Rashid Hamed al Balushi and Farah Murtada Taqi al Qubtan both spoke on If women ruled the world' in their prepared speech segment.
Buthaina said that women will think twice before sending their children to war. She also said that the ''glass ceiling'' that keeps women all over the world from reaching their full potential was cracking. Farah said the world would be a safer, less violent place if it was ruled by women.
For her impromptu speech, Buthaina spoke on Are exams still necessary?' She said that grades do not define a person, and that the current examination system rewards people for their memorisation skills. Ali Mohammed Baqer al Lawati, in his prepared speech on What happens when cities grow?', tackled the issues of deforestation and pollution which are the byproduct of growing cities.
The judges chose Nisreen and Buthaina as winners of the middle and senior categories, respectively. Both will battle it out, along with students of 24 other s