AURAK Lets the Ink Out

May 10, 2018,

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) hosted the Creative Writing Competition 2017-2018 for AURAK students, organized by Dr. Khaledah Yousef Ghareeb Al Mansoori, Department Chair of the Languages and Literature Department.

The theme of the writing competition was “Grandma’s Stories”; the conditions were the original stories were to be written in English and be up to 1500 words.  The competition was open to all AURAK students, and the winners would receive cash prizes and a possible publication of their story.

An awards ceremony featuring two award-winning Emirati writers, Maitha Al Khayat and Lulwah Al Mansouri, was held to honor the winners.  The competition coordinator and host for the ceremony was Dr. Sanaa Benmessaoud, Assistant Professor of Translation and Comparative Studies.  She introduced AURAK Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success and Provost, Prof. Stephen Wilhite.  Prof. Stephen welcomed the audience and commented how he enjoys supporting events that uses humanities to cross cultural boundaries. Dean of Student Services and Enrollment, Dr. Lee Waller, supplemented the welcome speech with his thoughts of how a university is not a group of buildings, but a group of people and the importance of celebrating student success. Dr. Sanaa also introduced the speakers; each gave an account of their journey of becoming writers. The presentations ended with Prof. Wilhite presenting both writers with plaques, and led into a question and answer session. After the question and answer session, Prof. Stephen, Dr. Lee Waller, and Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Mustapha Merabet, awarded winners with certificates and cash prizes.  The winners were:

1st Place – Shumayal Nassar

2nd Place – Alyshia Nath

3rd Place – Ahmed Mohamed

4th Place – Mohamed Abdo

5th Place – Reem Ahmed

6th Place – Safia Saeed Mohamed

The celebration concluded with Mrs. Maitha reading a chapter from her latest book, a book signing by Mrs. Maitha, and refreshments.

Prof. Stephen was delighted with the competition, “Encouraging AURAK students to express themselves through writing by means of this sort of competition is an admirable undertaking on the part of the Department of Languages and Literature.  I very much look forward to the continuation of this initiative in the future.”

AURAK President, Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, was overjoyed with the event in that it enables AURAK to promote the development of communication skills that will lead to help building bridges across cultural barriers and celebrating student success.