The awards ceremony in Hanoi on October 31, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 206 entries were emailed to the organisers, including those from Japan, France, Russia, Germany, India,Indonesia, Mozambique, the Philippines, Laos and Palestine. The oldest participant was 73 years-old while the youngest was only 12.
“The contest has been ethusiastically welcomed by foreign diplomats and students working and living in Vietnam as well as Vietnamese living abroad. Many foreign contestants submitted their works in fluent Vietnamese, voicing their impression of Hanoi’s architect, landscapes, street food and friendly residents. We respect their love for Hanoi and hope that more and more people, regardless of where they are, will stay in touch and share their love for Hanoi’s land and people,” said Chairwoman of the Hanoi Union of Friendship Organisations Nguyen Lan Huong.
Saleem Hammad from Palestine won first prize and the two second prizes were presented to Nilov Roman, Third Secretary at the Russian Embassy in Vietnam and Nguyen Thi Tram, an overseas Vietnamese living in Germany. Pascoela Barreto dos Santos, Ambassador of Timor Leste to Vietnam; Chansida Inkhavilay, Secretary at the Lao Embassy in Vietnam; and Okabe Chikara from Japan, clinched the third prizes.
|Saleem Hammad of Palestine wins the 1st prize of the “Hanoi in my heart” writing contest.
“Each entry reflects its author’s unique viewpoint and true feelings about Hanoi. It can be their impressions on Hanoi’s architecture, peaceful sceneries, their joy to speak Vietnamese, to visit a market session in Vietnam, to taste Vietnam’s food for the very first time, and their love for Vietnamese people, who they think are elegant and friendly,” said Tran Doan Lam, Director of the World Publishing House and a member of the jury board.
“The jury board was especially impressed with Saleem Hammad’s entry and gave him first prize in this year’s contest. In addition to his profound understanding of Vietnam, Saleem fluently used Vietnamese idioms and proverbs in his entry, which wowed all the jury board’s members,” Lam added.
| Second prize winners of the contest.
The first prize winner Saleem Hammad of Palestine is currently working as a communication analyst at the Embassy of Qatar in Vietnam. Having been living in Hanoi for 9 years, Saleem Hammad considers Hanoi his second home. He is touched every time he hears the name Hanoi.
“I came to Vietnam on November 25, 2011. When I heard about the contest I immediately took a pen and wrote. To me, the contest is really meaningful because it is an opportunity to express my love for my beloved Hanoi. The article represents my true feelings after 9 years living, studying and working here. I made a video about Hanoi for my 9 years living in the city. I was surprised as I did not expect to win this contest. I have been very impressed with the Vietnamese people’s affection, friendliness, hospitality, and their willingness to help other people. Hanoi culture is also very unique with its special cuisine, festivals, architecture, and traditional long dress or ao dai," said Saleem Hammad.
The writing contest "Hanoi in my heart" has helped spread the love for Hanoi among international friends and promoted the image of Hanoi capital city to the world.