Northwestern celebrates outstanding student work

Doha, Qatar: December 8, 2010: A film about death and the afterlife  won the Best Film prize at the inaugural Northwestern University in  Qatar (NU-Q) Student Media Awards last night.

Asmaa Abdulla Al-Buainain, a third year student majoring in  communication, produced the film  ‘Iridescent’, which explores the short  period between death and the afterlife from different perspectives. It  combined all aspects of filmmaking, such as cinematography, editing,  sound, mise-en-scene and storytelling, and was among the many works  praised by NU-Q faculty for its level of creativity.

The prize was one 16 categories awarded which also included Best News  Package, which looked at shopkeeper evictions on Doha’s Mirqab Street;  Best Feature Video, which documented life in an internally displaced  camp in Pakistan; and Best Documentary for ‘Breast Cancer: Overcoming  Cultural Boundaries’.

Designed to showcase the distinguished work of the region’s future  media professionals, the Media Awards celebrates the quality of student  work being produced in the journalism and communication programs – from  documentary, to film, to writing and photography.

The winning entries were selected by professionals in the field,  including nine NU-Q faculty members, from a shortlist that was voted on  by the students.

Anne Peterson, lecturer in the School of Communication, said: “I am  consistently impressed at how original the students’ work is and their  determination to push the boundaries. We have the most up-to-date  technology here at NU-Q, which really helps the production.”

Ibrahim Abusharif, assistant professor in the Medill School of  Journalism, expressed his pride in the students. “I’m very happy for  them and proud of their accomplishment. In only two and a half years,  they have really grown and done great work.”

John Margolis, Dean of NU-Q, said the high quality of the work  signals a bright future for the region’s developing media landscape. It  also highlights the value of an education at Northwestern University,  which is ranked 12th among all U.S. universities by US News & World  Report.

“We are seeing that the combination of talented, passionate students  and expert teaching faculty working alongside dedicated staff is really  paying off. I am pleased to see the great work of our students being  recognized, both by their peers and by the wider university community,”  said Margolis.

The event was jointly organized by Northwestern University in Qatar  Student Government (NU-QSG) and the newly-established Qatar chapter of  the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ-Q).

Sara Al-Saadi, president of NU-Q’s student government and recipient  of the Best Animation award, said: “This is a great way for students to  share their work and appreciate what their fellow students have created.  It is also about motivating ourselves to produce even better work. I  think people have been amazed and inspired by what they saw this  evening.” In addition to her award, Sara also received a certificate of  appreciation from her peers for her three years of service as president  of the student government.

There was universal appreciation for NU-Q faculty, as the award  recipients paid tribute to the level of teaching and dedication of the  professors in helping them to excel in their fields of study.

Based on the success of the event, SPJ President Shannon Farhoud said  that she hoped it would become an annual celebration attended by the  wider Education City and Doha community.