NU-Q Holds Annual Media Awards To Recognize Student Work


Photo by Shakeeb Asrar

By Wajeeha Malik and Nayab Malik

Photo by Shakeeb Asrar
Photo by Shakeeb Asrar


“Muhammad,” a film by communication sophomores Syed Owais Ali and Shahnawaz Zali won awards for Best Picture and Best Cinematography at the 2014 annual Media Awards by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) this week.

“We’re so happy because this is something that we wanted from last year. We decided we wanted to change how people think, and show how Pakistanis have talent in the media industry as well, so I think something has paid off today,” Zali said.

The Media Awards is an event organized by NU-Q Student Union (NU-Q SU) where students are recognized for the work they accomplish throughout the year. The event was organized in collaboration with the NU-Q Film Society and the Society of Professional Journalists.

“Students could nominate their own work and faculty also nominated some student work. We’ve got some great talent to show,” said LaKisha Tillman, the coordinator of student activities and residential life at NU-Q.

Previous Media Awards were never this formal, said Mayar Hamdan, one of the event’s coordinators for NU-Q SU. This year, students arrived in suits and gowns to attend the Media Awards ceremony held in the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center ballroom.

 “It was never this grand! It was never this Oscar-like. This year we really decided to go all out,” Hamdan said, noting that previous years’ awards were held in the lobby of the CMU-Q building where NU-Q is housed.

 “As far as judging goes, we always use outside judges [who are] professionals in their field. We did that again this year. We had faculty members too – a professor each from the Communication, Journalism and Liberal Arts departments,” she said.

Judges for the communication awards included Justin Kramer from Film House and Mohammed Al Hamadi from Innovation Films. Judges for journalism awards included Omar Khalifa from Film House and Hussain Ahmed from The Peninsula newspaper. Judges for the liberal arts awards included Din Uvendire from Wunderman Doha and Jorge Granda from Qatar Happening Magazine.

Winners of the awards expressed pride in their work. 

 “In this culture, it’s hard to get people talking about their personal stuff so it was really intense,” said Sophie Qinjia Jiang, who received the award for Best Sound Slideshow for “Weight Loss Surgery” along with James Zach Hollo.

“I think the Media Awards are necessary because a lot of time we don’t get to see each other’s work. To have one event a year to celebrate [our achievements] is important to a school that produces so much media,” said Yazan Abu Ghaida, winner of three awards: Best Editing  (with Amine Zaki), Best Screenplay, and Best Independent Film (with James Copplestone Farmer.)

“One of the best parts was having our students from NU-E see the quality of work our students have here in Qatar,” Tillman said, referring to the students visiting from the university’s Evanston campus this week.

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