Today’s teenagers have a thirst for acquiring knowledge and in this highly competitive world they just cannot afford to be lackadaisical in their approach toward either academics or general knowledge, was the message conveyed during the successful mega quiz competition organized by the Jubail-based Association of Malayalee Professionals in Saudi Arabia (AMPS). Called the “Brain Hunt World Quiz,” the event attracted more than 600 Grade 8-12 students from International Indian School-Dammam, International Indian School-Jubail, Al-Khozama International Indian School-Dammam and Al-Yasmeen International School-Riyadh. The participants were grouped into 180 teams and they competed heroically to win the coveted trophy for their school. The AMPS quiz competition has since 2004 become an annual feature for students, teachers and quiz enthusiasts in the Eastern Province. Its organizers - all top Indian professionals working in the leading multinational companies and Saudi corporations, have won accolades for the event’s top-notch quality. Such has been the popularity of the annual competition that many Saudi executives who have been guests at the previous events have invited the organizers to conduct similar competitions for their company employees and other international and local schools. AMPS President Jayan K. Variar reiterated his organization’s commitment to provide a healthy platform for fostering the creative talents of students. “Children are our future; their mind is like a wax, and it assumes any shape that we may mold it into during the impressionable age,” he said. “The purpose of education is to instill in them the values of culture, tolerance and co-existence so that they can contribute positively to society.” The prime force behind the show was Quizmaster P.G.R. Nair. A seasoned Toastmaster and social activist, he conducted the competition with aplomb. His style and enthusiasm had a ripple effect on the audience, and the entire three hours of the magical mind-game ended on a high note. There was active participation from the hundreds of assembled guests. The quiz questions were intelligent, stimulating and entertaining. Some of the interesting ones that captured the attention were: What is the official royal title given to Kate Middleton? (Duchess of Cambridge); who acts as “Iron Lady” in the film on the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? (Meryl Streep); what subject did Steve Jobs study at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, after dropping out of college? (calligraphy); what organ was replaced in world’s first transplant operation of its kind on July 8, 2011? (trachea). The “Blast of Bullets” rapid fire round, led admirably by Assistant Quizmaster Parvathy Ananthnarayan, created palpable tension, but the International Indian School-Dammam team comprising Sadiqua Sadaf, Fatima Matin Khan and Vinitha Selvaraj kept its cool and emerged victorious. All three team members celebrated their victory by punching their fists in the air. IISD had emerged champions last time as well. International Indian School-Jubail, represented by Bain Biju, Rahul A. and Hyder Ali, won the second prize, and the third prize went to IISD’s Azim, Simon Sebastain and Varun Vohra. Izzam Jaffar conducted the preliminary written quiz during which he posed 40 objective questions to short-list eight finalists. IISD Principal E.K. Mohammed Shaffe and Headmistress Dhanalaxmi Ramanujam congratulated the school winners. An elaborate stage set-up and high-tech quiz devices arranged by Krishna Das, V.C. Nair, Murali Krishnan, Mammachen, Satish Chandra Kurup and Sabeer Mohammed added color to the show. Registration Coordinator Oommen Thomas and his team managed the registration of more than 600 students and AMPS members. Prominent among those who were present to encourage the competitors were IIS-Jubail Principal Syed Hameed, former AMPS President Anil Thomas, IIS-Jubail Management Committee member Nehal Ahmad, India Forum founder Syed Waheed Lateef and Saadia Siddiqui of IIS-Jubail. The quiz operation was engineered by Sudheer Prabhakaran, Seju Davis, Luqman Ummer, Bindu Alex, Kirthi Murali and Jamuna Jayan. Sunil Radhakrishnan proposed the vote of thanks and Jyothy Warrier anchored the event.