Campus & Community articles from '2011'

  1. NYUAD Class of 2015 Reflects on First Semester

    As the first semester of the Class of 2015's freshman year draws to a close, with term papers submitted, exams taken, and bags packed for winter break, Salaam asked the students for their impressions of the University and of Abu Dhabi, and to share what experiences thus far have been the most memorable. While most touched on the educational environment, specific events that took place during the fall semester, or the sense of community at NYUAD, others reflected on the capital itself and on their own personal growth. As Sachith Cheruvatur said, "The best part of my experience here also happens to be the most painful one. The experience of growing up. The experience of watching my previous outlook on the world as a high school student who touched down in Abu Dhabi four months back being razed to the ground and experiencing the growth and development of a new and different outlook on the world — a more accepting and open one with far greater appreciation for different philosophies, cultures, sciences, religions, and most importantly, a whole new outlook to who I am and want to be."

  2. NYUAD Music Performance Program Holds Final Concert of Semester

    As the NYU Abu Dhabi student body began its last week of classes before sitting final exams and heading off for winter break, the members of the University's music performance program readied their instruments one last time for "Invocation," the final concert of the fall semester. All 10 of the University's burgeoning ensembles performed repertoire dedicated to the theme of ritual, prayer, art, and the sacred. Opening with the classic, "The Prayer," and closing with a tutti performance of "O Sifuni Mungu," the concert featured such hits as "When You Believe" and "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," as well as selections from Keith Thompson's musical, God Lives in Glass.

  3. NYUAD Community Gathers for "Spectacular" Lunar Eclipse

    NYUAD Community Gathers for "Spectacular" Lunar Eclipse

    On December 10, around 50 members of the NYUAD community gathered on the Abu Dhabi Corniche to witness the last total lunar eclipse until 2014. The second of two total lunar eclipses this year (the last one was on June 15), the celestial phenomenon was the longest lunar eclipse in more than a decade, lasting 51 minutes and affording the crowd a rare show. Starting at 6:06pm local time, the Earth's shadow blocked the moon, causing it to take on a reddish glow.
  4. NYUAD Hosts "Informal" Cairo Panel on Politics of Plastic and Planned Housing

    NYUAD Hosts "Informal" Cairo Panel on Politics of Plastic and Planned Housing

    This past Thursday, NYUAD hosted a discussion with guest speakers Ezzat Naem and Kareem Ibrahim on urban living in Cairo before, during, and after the recent revolution. Organized by NYUAD's Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Pascal Menoret as a complement to his course Politics and the City, the panel endeavored to discuss the development of Cairo's unplanned urban neighborhoods and the informal provision of public services in these areas. Each speaker highlighted the increasing tendency of Cairenes to take their destinies into their own hands — including accounting for the provision of their own housing, employment, and services independently of the state — a trend that started prior to the revolution.
  5. Oxfam CEO Shares Global Campaign for Change at NYUAD

    Oxfam CEO Shares Global Campaign for Change at NYUAD

    More than 65 percent of the world's population survives on less than USD 1.25 a day. Nearly one in two children suffer from malnourishment, and one in six die before the age of five. In a world of chronic and persistent hunger, scarce resources, climate changes, and fluctuating market prices, action is needed.
  6. NYUAD Celebrates the UAE's 40th

    On December 1, the NYUAD community gathered at the University's Downtown Campus — brightly illuminated in red, green, and purple for the occasion — to celebrate the UAE's 40th National Day. Students, faculty, and staff enjoyed traditional Emirati cuisine, visited with NYUAD sophomore Ahmed Al Masaood's falcon, got henna, listened to poetry, and watched traditional dancers. The festivities continued throughout the capital over the weekend.

  7. Polendo's Death of a Salesman Deemed "Edifying" by The National

    Polendo's Death of a Salesman Deemed "Edifying" by The National

    "The play is most definitely memorable," said The National's Hugo Berger of NYUAD Associate Professor of Theater Rubén Polendo's production of Death of a Salesman. The show, which ran for three nights at the end of November, was put on by Theater Mitu — Polendo's New York-based theater company — at the University's downtown campus and was a reinterpretation of Arthur Miller's classic play.

  8. Countdown to National Day: Day 1

    Fact #40:

    As we celebrate the 40th UAE National Day, we reflect on the spirit that ties us together, the Spirit of the Union that enables millions of people to coexist and build lives together. The Spirit of the Union is derived from the vision and leadership of the Late Sheikh Zayed, and now lives on through His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his fellow leaders of the nation's Emirates who are shaping the UAE's future. It is the spirit that binds the cosmopolitan community of the UAE, connecting us under one banner, one flag, but with many voices. It is the Spirit of the Union that celebrates our culture and heritage, and yet shapes our future. This spirit needs to be celebrated and shared by all citizens and residents of the United Arab Emirates. Source:

  9. Countdown to National Day: Day 2

    Fact #39:

    The late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan's vision was the catalyst for the UAE as we know it today. Forty summers have passed since the union was formed, and in each passing, and as the sun goes down on each day, the spirit of Our Father Zayed still shines brightly. It shines because it lives on within the people, it is a spirit that can be shared with anyone who wants it, and it knows no boundaries. Forty years ago, the people of the UAE came together to say they are one. Under the leadership of the Late Sheikh Zayed, the nation was formed and in this process a spirit was born.

  10. Countdown to National Day: Day 3

    Fact #38: Sheikh Zayed in Quotes

    "The Ruler should not have any barrier which separates him from his people." - The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  11. Countdown to National Day: Day 4

    Fact #37: Sheikh Zayed in Quotes

    "The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education." 
- The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  12. NYUAD Students Learn From the Locals During Eid

    During the recent Eid break, several NYU Abu Dhabi classes travelled abroad in the attempt to gain new insight into their fields of study. Visiting Professor of Social Research and Public Policy Roger Friedland led his class, Social Scientific Study of Religion, on a research trip to Istanbul, Turkey, while Arabic Language Instructor Khulood Kittaneh and Director of Arabic Studies Muhamed Al Khalil decided the break was the perfect opportunity to test their students' fledging Arabic skills by taking a class trip to Amman, Jordan. Kittaneh and Al Khalil were hoping the trip would provide a perfect opportunity for their Arabic students to have a truly immersive experience in the language they had been studying for nearly three full semesters. Similarly, Friedland believed a trip to Istanbul would allow his students to challenge, deepen, and enrich the knowledge they had gained in class through experiencing the people, culture, and atmosphere of Istanbul.
  13. Countdown to National Day: Day 5

    Fact #36: Sheikh Zayed in Quotes

    "It is my duty as the leader of the young people of this country to encourage them to work and to exert themselves in order to raise their own standards and to be of service to the country. The individual who is healthy and of a sound mind and body but who does not work commits a crime against himself and society." 
- The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  14. Countdown to National Day: Day 6

    Fact #35: Sheikh Zayed in Quotes

    "A nation without a past is a nation without a present or a future. Thanks to God, our nation has a flourishing civilisation, deep-rooted in this land for many centuries. These roots will always flourish and bloom in the glorious present of our nation and in its anticipated future." - The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  15. Countdown to National Day: Day 7

    Fact #34:

    The late Sheikh Zayed, considered to be the father of the UAE, was the nation's first president, serving from the country's founding in 1971 until his death in 2004. The next several facts will feature quotes from Sheikh Zayed.

    "Arab oil can never be dearer than Arab blood." 
- The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  16. Countdown to National Day: Day 8

    Fact #33:

    In Fujairah, bullfighting has become a weekly form of entertainment. Bull owners take care to see that their animals do not get hurt and there is no bloodshed (though that is not to say the bulls necessarily enjoy themselves). The bulls are restrained until it is time for them to charge one another. They then lock horns until one of them ultimately backs down.

  17. Countdown to National Day: Day 9

    Fact #32:

    Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi was the Sheikh of Ras al-Khaimah, one of the United Arab Emirates, from 1948 to 2010. He became the Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah on July 17, 1948, when he overthrew his uncle and father-in-law Sheikh Sultan Bin Salim al-Qassimi in a bloodless coup d'état. Saqr exiled Sultan to Sharjah. Under Saqr's rule, Ras al-Khaimah joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972. At the time of his death in 2010, he was the world's oldest reigning monarch at the age of 90.

  18. Countdown to National Day: Day 10

    Fact #31:

    The UAE dirham was introduced on May 19, 1973, replacing the Bahraini Dinar in Abu Dhabi and the Qatari Riyal in the other emirates. Coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 fils, as well as 1 dirham. The 1, 5, and 10 fils are struck in bronze, with the higher denominations in cupro-nickel. Originally, the coins were the same size and composition as the corresponding Qatar and Dubai dirham coins, but in 1995, the 50 fils and 1 dirham coins were reduced in size, with the new 50 fils being curve-equilateral-heptagonal shaped. In 1973, the UAE Currency Board introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 1,000 dirhams. A second series of notes was introduced in 1982, which omitted the 1 and 1,000 dirham notes. In 1983, 500 dirham notes were introduced, followed by 200 dirham notes in 1989. Then, in 2000, 1,000 dirham notes were reintroduced. Banknotes are currently available in denominations of 5 (brown), 10 (green), 20 (light blue), 50 (purple), 100 (pink), 200 (green/brown), 500 (navy blue), and 1,000 (greenish blue).

  19. NYUAD Celebrates "Karibu Afrika"

    On November 19, the NYUAD community celebrated the diversity and richness of African cultures at "Karibu Afrika," an event held in the sculpted garden of NYUAD's Downtown Campus. During the event, students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to learn more about the food, dance, clothing, and traditions of the different cultures of the African continent. "We wanted to give students a chance to show the University that Africa is a place rich with cultural diversity and to expel the stereotype of a homogenous continent in crisis," said Leena Asfour (NYUAD '14), one of the students who helped organize the event.
  20. Countdown to National Day: Day 11

    Fact #30:

    An experimental project in the Ajman-based home of an Emirati man named Rashid bin Abdullah bin Hamdha is considered to be the UAE's first radio channel. Bin Hamdha wanted to apply the skills he learned from a radio repair workshop he attended while in Saudi Arabia and hence produced the first national wireless transmission and reception in the country. Bin Hamdha and the friend who helped him through the process managed to transmit a few words and a sentence during their trail stages, but later succeeded in transmitting a full three-hour program. This program consisted of an opening with the recitations of some verses from the Holy Quran, followed by some Hadith (sayings of the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him), and some songs, poems, and sea-related music. Bin Hamdha's radio station continued to air until 1965.

  21. Countdown to National Day: Day 12

    Fact #29:

    The Oasis Hospital (aka The Kennedy Hospital) was founded in the city of Al Ain in November 1960. It was the first hospital in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and was known as the Kennedy Hospital in reference to Dr. Perol and Dr. Marian Kennedy, who were invited to the region by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. That was the beginning of medical services. Prior to that, traditional medicine was the popular method of treatment.

  22. Countdown to National Day: Day 13

    Fact #28:

    The pearl merchant Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmouk founded Dubai's first school and welcomed its first students, all boys, in 1912. You can see the original classroom where they squeezed behind wooden desks to learn the Holy Quran, grammar, Arabic calligraphy, mathematics, literature, and astronomy. It remained in use as a school until the student body outgrew the premises in 1963. Today, the building serves as a museum depicting the history of education in the Emirate of Dubai, and includes a variety of presentations such as Education in the UAE, the history of the school, historical documents, and writing instruments.

  23. Countdown to National Day: Day 14

    Fact #27:

    The British government established a staging post in Sharjah in 1932. It was the first airport in Sharjah for flights en route from England to India. The airport is still in use today as a museum to illustrate, especially to younger generations, the importance of the airfield in the history of aviation and in the development of traditional society in the Emirate of Sharjah. At that time, the airport was located in the heart of the desert, 2 miles away from the town. Donkeys were used to carry all the provisions for the travelers, including in-flight catering and water from wells.

  24. Countdown to National Day: Day 15

    Fact #26:

    Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, also known as Fatat Al Arab (Girl of the Arab) and Ousha Al Sha'er (Ousha the Poet), is a legendary Emirati poet who was born and raised in Al Ain and moved later in life to Dubai. Her outstanding talent in poetry has made her a leading Arabic Nabati poet and a large number of her poems are sung by popular Emirati and artists from Arabia. In 1989, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai at the time, dedicated a poem from his first poetry publication to Suwaidi, giving her the sobriquet "Fatat Al Arab" instead of her original sobriquet of "Fatat Al Khaleej" (Girl of the Gulf). In 2010 she was awarded in Sharjah's Festival of Classic Poetry XI, and later won the Abu Dhabi award presented by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

  25. A Celebration of Horsepower: NYUAD Visits the Dubai Motor Show

    Guest Post: János Kun, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    The weekend of November 11 and the end of NYUAD's Eid break marked a special moment for petrolheads in the UAE: the globe turned its attention to Abu Dhabi's awesome Yas Marina Circuit to watch the penultimate round of this year's Formula 1 Championship, and, approximately 120 kilometers away, the Dubai International Motor Show opened its gates for the 11th time in its 22-year history. A group of NYUAD students attended the five-day show and spent day two exploring more than 500 vehicles from more than 150 manufacturers to find out what from motoring's best appeals to the people of the Emirates.
  26. Countdown to National Day: Day 16

    Fact #25:

    Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum (born on December 31, 1963, in Dubai) is a shooter from the United Arab Emirates who won the first ever Olympic medal for his country. Al Maktoum, a member of the ruling family of Dubai, had been participating in hunting since childhood, but it was not until the age of 34 that he took up shooting as a sport. Prior to his Olympic win for shooting, he was the UAE national champion in squash. At the 2004 Summer Olympics he won the double trap event and finished fourth in the trap event, and at the 2005 ISSF World Cup he won another gold medal in double trap.

  27. World Renowned Artist Christo Visits NYUAD

    World-Renowned Artist Christo Visits NYUAD

    This past Monday, members of the NYUAD community, along with local guests, flocked to Abu Dhabi's Intercontinental Hotel for an NYUAD Institute-hosted lecture by world-renowned artist Christo, whose innovative and controversial (due to its large scale) artwork in collaboration with his late wife Jeanne-Claude has been attracting much attention over the last half a century.
  28. Countdown to National Day: Day 17

    Fact #24:

    Elham Al Qasimi, an Emirati woman born in Dubai in July 1982, embarked on a successful skiing expedition to the North Pole "unsupported and unassisted" (two terms used in polar expeditions denoting use of natural means and without any kind of assistance). On April 23, 2010, she became the first Arab woman and the first UAE national to reach the North Pole. Before setting out on the journey, Al Qasimi went through an intensive workout to build up her mental and physical strength, as well as develop the required stamina. Lomax, Bespoke Fitness Nutrition and Wellbeing, laid down the training program with the main objective being an overall improvement in her strength, agility, and speed.

  29. NYUAD Students Investigate Theater in Nepal

    Twice a week, 16 NYU Abu Dhabi students walk into Associate Professor of Theater Rubén Polendo's classroom to learn the tools that enrich the relationship between director and actor. Late last month, however, these same Directing the Actor students furthered their education of that craft by walking into a much different classroom: the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.
  30. Countdown to National Day: Day 18

    Fact #23:

    Born in Dubai, Abdul Qader Al Rais has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the UAE's most accomplished artists. Many of his pieces have been awarded and he is regarded as a leading light in the art world, both regionally and internationally. Al Rais developed his own style through experimentation and copied, revised, and interpreted the works of prominent painters including Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro. He paints in two different styles: photorealistic for the landscapes and architectural scenes, and abstract. Al Rais has participated in many exhibitions around the world since 1965 and has held successful exhibitions in Germany (with German artist Fred Falk), the Czech Republic, Beirut, Washington DC, and many other locations.

  31. Countdown to National Day: Day 19

    Fact #22:

    Ahmad ibn Majid was an Arab navigator and cartographer born in 1421 in Julphar, now known as Ras Al Khaimah, which, at that time, was classified as the coast of Oman. He was raised in a family famous for seafaring and at the age of 17 was able to navigate ships. He was so famous that he was known as the first Arab seaman. The exact date is not known, but ibn Majid probably died in 1500. He became famous in the West as the navigator who has been associated with helping Vasco da Gama find his way from Africa to India, completing the first all-water trade route between Europe and India by using an Arab map then unknown to European sailors. He was also the author of nearly 40 works of poetry and prose, two of which are now prominent exhibits in the National Library in Paris.

  32. Countdown to National Day: Day 20

    Fact #21:

    Motor sports and cars in general engender as much passion as football in the hearts of Emiratis. The UAE can now boast one of the best venues in the Formula One circuit. Built on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and designed by Hermann Tilke, the Yas Marina Circuit stretches 5.5 kilometres and contains 21 corner twists, snaking through grandstands that can accommodate more than 50,000 cheering spectators.

  33. Countdown to National Day: Day 21

    Fact #20:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #6: Federal Judiciary

    The Federal Judiciary, which is accorded independence under the Constitution, includes the Federal Supreme Court and Courts of First Instance. The Federal Supreme Court comprises five judges appointed by the Supreme Council. The judges decide on the constitutionality of federal laws and arbitrate on inter-emirate disputes and disputes between the federal government and the emirates.

  34. Countdown to National Day: Day 22

    Fact #19:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #5: The Federal National Council

    The Federal National Council (FNC) is the fourth federal authority in terms of order in the hierarchy of the five federal authorities prescribed in the Constitution, namely: the Supreme Council of the Federation, Federation President and Vice President, Federation Cabinet, the Federal National Council, and the Federal Judiciary Constitution. The FNC is comprised of 40 members, 20 of whom are elected by an electoral college made up of a number of national citizens of the UAE, while the rulers of respective emirates appoint the remaining 20.

  35. Countdown to National Day: Day 23

    Fact #18:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #4: Cabinet Members

    • Prime Minister: Vice President HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (also Minister of Defense)
    • Deputy Prime Minister: HH Lt Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan (also Minister of Interior)
    • Deputy Prime Minister: HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (also Minister of Presidency Affairs)
    • Minister of Finance: HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
    • Minister of Foreign Affairs: HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  36. Christie's Opens Its Doors to NYUAD

    Christie's Opens Its Doors to NYUAD

    Prior to the sale of its modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian, and Turkish art at the end of October, Christie's auction house opened the doors of its Dubai salesroom to NYUAD students for a private tour. One of more than 450 annual sales — covering more than 80 categories, including fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, and collectibles — the collection included works by Iranian painter Mohammed Ehsai (pictured above), Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi, and Lebanese sculptor Nadim Karam.
  37. Countdown to National Day: Day 24

    Fact #17:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #3: The Council of Ministers (The Cabinet)

    The Council of Ministers, described in the Constitution as "the executive authority" for the Federation, is headed by a prime minister, chosen by the president in consultation with the Supreme Council. The prime minister, currently also the vice president, then proposes the Cabinet, which requires the president's ratification.

  38. Countdown to National Day: Day 25

    Fact #16:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #2: The Supreme Council

    The Supreme Council, comprising the rulers of the seven emirates, elects a president and a vice president from amongst themselves to serve for a renewable five-year term in office. Accordingly, it re-elected President Sheikh Khalifa for another five-year term in November 2009. The Supreme Council has both legislative and executive powers. It ratifies federal laws and decrees, plans general policy, approves the nomination of the prime minister, and accepts his resignation. It also relieves him from his post upon the recommendation of the president.

  39. Countdown to National Day: Day 26

    Fact #15:

    UAE Politics 101, lesson #1: Political Structure

    To ensure effective governance of the new state after its establishment in 1972, the rulers agreed to draw up a provisional Constitution specifying the powers allocated to the new federal institution. As in many federal structures around the world, certain powers remained the prerogative of each of the individual emirates, which already had their own governing institutions prior to the establishment of the Federation, ensuring them autonomy in many state matters. At present, the federal system of government includes the Supreme Council, the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), and a parliamentary body in the forms of the Federal National Council (FNC) and the Federal Supreme Court, which is representative of an independent judiciary.

  40. Countdown to National Day: Day 27

    Fact #14:

    As for Fujairah, Ahmad Mohammad Obaid, poet and author of Studies on the Dialects of the UAE, says that Al Fujaira was only mentioned in Yaqut Al Hamawi's encyclopedic book on countries, and even then it was not mentioned in any detail. The premise that the word Fujaira is derived from Fujoor (or "libertinism") is very unlikely, says Obaid, because then the name would have been well documented. He sees the most likely root as linked to tafajur, which refers to "the bursting of water from the ground." This makes more sense, he says, since the area is rich in valleys. On the other hand, Bilal Al Budoor, assistant under-secretary for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, speculates the name possibly means "light."

  41. Countdown to National Day: Day 28

    Fact #13:

    The name Ras Al Khaima has not been recorded in old transcripts despite the fact that areas within the emirate, such as Joulafar, Rijam, and Al Khail, have written antecedents. It could be that the name itself is modern, or that it is old but not transcribed in history books. According to researchers, the other name for Ras Al Khaimah is Al Seer, which some believe comes from Serah, an old Portuguese name for "mountain." Another theory asserts that Seer means "the dynasty" of the Al Qawasim tribe. The grandfather of the Al Qawasim tribe was Qayid Bin Adwan, who set a khaimah (or "tent") at the entrance of Ras Al Khaimah.

  42. NYUAD Competes in Dragon Boat Festival

    Last week, the NYUAD Dragon Boat teams took to the water to compete in the Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival, held at the Shangri-La Hotel. NYUAD White battled it out in both of its races, finishing fourth in the "B" final, while NYUAD Purple — comprised of many return paddlers from last year's competitions — defended its championship title, again taking first place in the University division.

  43. Countdown to National Day: Day 29

    Fact #12:

    The name Umm Al Quwain refers to two economic and agricultural powers that the emirate has historically possessed: the sea and the land. Thus, the emirate was seen as the mother of these two strengths, or quwain in Arabic. However, according to Ahmad Mohammad Obaid, poet and author of Studies on the Dialects of the UAE, the word Quwain is inspired from Qawn, which is a direct reference to "iron." Based on a historical reference, "double powers" relates to one of the sheikhs (tribal leaders) because he had hundreds of cannons. But researchers still do not know who the sheikh was.

  44. NYUAD Hosts International Hackathon

    NYUAD Hosts International Hackathon

    The Makindu Children's Center Database Project team won third place. From left to right: Alice Tessen (NYUAD '14), Nishant Mohanchandra (NYUAD '14), Professor Sana Odeh, Katy Blumer (NYUAD '14), and Ali Taqi (AUK).

    This past week, NYUAD hosted the first-ever International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. For three days, more than 50 computer science students, academics, and experts from around the globe worked together to develop mobile and web applications to solve social issues in the region. Students learned about new practices in software development and the basics of entrepreneurship through a series of interactive workshops focused on topics including HTML 5, mobile development for smart phones, and web security, all the while being mentored by more than 30 guest speakers from participating universities and organizations such as Yahoo!, the Grameen Foundation, LinkedIn, Random Hacks of Kindness, the Microsoft Corporation, and the World Bank.
  45. Countdown to National Day: Day 30

    Fact #11:

    As for the origins of Ajman's name, one of the prominent Arab tribes in the area was named Ajman, so it could be that the tribe lived in that area and later moved, hence the name Ajman. However, it is hard to find clear roots of the name because the verb, Ajm, has several meanings, some of which would apply, while others would not. One of the related meanings is Ajama, which refers to the date palm that grows from the seed. But a look at Ajman shows that the area is not rich in date palm. Another word extracted from Ajman is Ojma, which can refer to sand to mean "a lot of sand" or Ramla Ajma, which means "an area without trees."

  46. Operation Smile Visits NYUAD

    Operation Smile Visits NYUAD

    Last week, Bill and Kathy Magee (pictured above), the co-founders of Operation Smile, visited NYU Abu Dhabi to speak about the international charity's mission and work in the UAE. Students from NYUAD, as well as those from local high schools and universities, were invited to hear the organization's leaders speak about their goal to aid children with cleft lips or palettes and their dependence on fundraising to finance these life-changing surgeries. To date, Operation Smile has performed more than 200,000 free repairs of cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities.
  47. Countdown to National Day: Day 31

    Fact #10:

    Many researchers have supposed that the word Sharqah, to which Sharjah owes its origins, comes from the word "light." The terrain is so flat that the sun shines evenly on the land. Sultan Al Omaimi, a UAE poet and researcher in folk literature, says that some historians speculate that Sharjah was the name of an idol worshipped in the pre-Islamic era, which was known as Abed Al Shareq. It also had a feminine form: Al Shareqa. Other researchers link the word Sharqah to the fact that the city is located to the Sharq, or "east," of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Hence the Arabic classical form of Sharjah is Al Shareqah, and the colloquial form is Al Sharjah. In fact, many researchers say that the residents of Abu Dhabi called the inhabitants of Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ajman, and Ras Al Khaimah the Sharagwah, or "easterners."

  48. Countdown to National Day: Day 32

    Fact #9:

    Dubai is probably the emirate with the least evidence about the origins of its name, and the most myths and rumors about its meaning. However, some Emirati researchers who have dedicated their lives and efforts into studying the history of the country and the region have stated that it is a myth that the origin of the word Dubai is not Arabic. Ahmad Mohammad Obaid, poet and author of Studies on the Dialects of the UAE, stated that Dubai is a diminution of the word Daba or "baby locusts," a short-horned grasshopper that swarmed the area.

  49. NYUAD Shows Strong Presence at ADFF

    The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) is officially on NYUAD's list of favorite annual events in Abu Dhabi. And as NYUAD and the ADFF grow, so too does the collaboration between them. Like last year, the University's involvement in this year's festival was wide-reaching and varied. Students, faculty, and staff volunteered and attended screenings, and NYUAD Professor of Film & New Media Leonard Retel Helmrich took home the Best Documentary award for his film, Position Among the Stars.
  50. Countdown to National Day: Day 33

    Fact #8:
    When it comes to unraveling the origins and meanings of the names of places in the UAE, myth and reality intermingle. It is difficult to trace the origins of the names of cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah because their history was traditionally passed down by word of mouth through folklore and poetry. What is known is that the names of places in the UAE have roots in the Arabic language. References can sometimes be drawn from the Arabic dictionary, but mostly one must return to old stories and myths for clues.

  51. Countdown to National Day: Day 34

    Fact #7:
    The national anthem of the United Arab Emirates, also popularly known as Ishy Bilady (literally, Long Live my Nation), was officially accepted as the United Arab Emirates' national anthem after the formation of the country in 1971. The music was composed by Saad Abdel Wahab, who also composed the national anthems of other Arab states including Tunisia and Libya. The lyrics to the anthem were written by Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan in 1986. Even though they have not received official recognition as the words to the anthem, they are widely known throughout the country and are often sung. The lyrics — in English and Arabic — are as follows:

  52. UAE-Flags2

    Countdown to National Day: Day 35

    Fact #6:
    Each one of the seven emirates had its own flag prior to the country's unification.

  53. Countdown to National Day: Day 36

    Fact #5:
    The UAE flag, adopted on December 2, 1971, was raised on the same day by the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who declared the flag to note the United Arab Emirates as an independent sovereign state. The national flag colors of red, green, white, and black stand for Arab unity. The flag was designed by a young Emirati named Abdullah Mohammed Al Muainah, who later served as commissioned minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE. Al Muainah's design won first place in a flag design competition, in which hundreds of artists and painters participated. A total number of 1,030 designs were submitted with the hope of winning a cash prize of AED 4,000. Al Muainah based his design on the Arab unity colors, inspired by a famous Arab poet who once wrote about the four colors and described them as:

  54. Campus Photography Exhibit Unveiled

    The Undispossessed, a photographic exhibit of select works by documentary photographer Yasser Alwan, was officially opened on NYUAD's Downtown Campus last week. The 91 photographs on display throughout the University were taken during Alwan's 25 years in Egypt and North Africa — although most chosen for the exhibit hail from Cairo, Alwan's home — and consist primarily of street portraits of ordinary people going about their daily lives, emphasizing the collective strength of the isolated subjects.
  55. Countdown to National Day: Day 37

    Fact #4:
    The first cargo of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962. On August 6, 1966, Sheikh Zayed succeeded his elder brother as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. He promptly increased contributions to the Trucial States Development Fund and, with revenues growing as oil production increased, undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals, and roads. When Dubai's oil exports commenced in 1969, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, de facto Ruler of Dubai since 1939, was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of his people. The British had earlier started a development office that helped in some small developments in the emirates. The sheikhs of the emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. They formed the Trucial States Council, which was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed.

  56. Countdown to National Day: Day 38

    Fact #3:
    The pearling industry thrived in the UAE during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It provided jobs, as well as created income for the community, and trade with people from nearby countries, such as India, flourished. However, this golden era for the pearling industry was hit hard by World War I; it also was greatly affected by the economic depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s. But it was the Japanese cultured pearls that really brought an end to the pearl industry in the Gulf. Small efforts were still put into this field and people continued to go on pearl diving trips, but industry eventually faded away shortly after World War II when the newly independent Indian government imposed heavy taxation on pearls imported from the the Gulf States.

  57. Countdown to National Day: Day 39

    Fact #2:
    Although officially the United Arab Emirates is only 40 years old, signs of civilization in this region date back thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known human occupation, for which there is significant evidence, dated from the Stone Age or Neolithic period in 5500 BC, or 7,500 years ago! Evidence of extensive human inhabitance in the UAE by skilled groups of herders using finely made stone tools was also found. Furthermore, evidence of contact with the outside world exists, especially with civilizations to the north. These contacts persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, commencing around 3000 BC, as the climate became more arid and fortified oasis communities focused on agriculture. (Source:

  58. Seven Students Win Six-Word Essay Contest

    Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's famous six-word story — "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" — the Academic Resource Center (ARC) recently held a Six-Word Essay Contest that aimed to not only publicize the Writing Center and its services, but also to "give students an opportunity to write outside an academic context — to remind them that writing, in short, can be fun!" said Anni Zhu, one of the Center's Student Global Academic Fellows.
  59. Countdown to National Day: Day 40

    This year, the United Arab Emirates will be celebrating its 40th National Day on December 2. Leading up to the celebrations, we will be bringing you a series of 40 quick and short facts about the UAE over a period of 40 days. The facts will vary in nature; some will be historic or cultural, others social and sometimes simply fun! Check Salaam daily to learn more about the UAE.

  60. NYUAD Filmmaker Awarded Best Documentary at ADFF

    Congratulations to NYUAD Professor of Film & New Media Leonard Retel Helmrich whose film, Position Among the Stars, won the Best Documentary award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The film — part three of a trilogy that also includes Eye of the Day (2001) and Shape of the Moon (2004) — examines the changes brought to Indonesia under recent neoliberal economic policies through the Sjamsuddin family as they attempt to cope with newfound political, social, and economic realities.
  61. Musical Journeys

    Last year, but for telematic sessions with professionals off campus, NYU Abu Dhabi's music performance program was definitely in a start-up phase. But after her brief visit to NYUAD last year, Professor Celina Charlier has returned and, after only one month, it appears she has already given the program some much-needed momentum. This past Saturday, several University ensembles — including the Desert Winds, the New Music Ensemble, and the NYUAD Finger Breathers — gave their first performances during 'Musical Journeys,' the inaugural concert of the music program. The repertoire varied from early medieval chanting to Stevie Wonder, each ensemble taking the audience on a journey, historically, geographically, and emotionally, culminating in an en masse performance of Chick Corea's "Spain," arranged by Charlier herself for the entire ensemble.

  62. Gordon Brown Returns to NYUAD

    Gordon Brown Returns to NYUAD

    NYU Abu Dhabi recently had the honor of welcoming former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his second visit to the University. During his stay, Brown gave a public talk, put on by the NYUAD Institute, that focused on issues and solutions in the aftermath of the Global Economic Crisis. The event, which was open to both the NYUAD and local communities, took place in the impressive exhibition hall at Abu Dhabi's Manarat Al Saadiyat visitor center, not far from the location of the future NYUAD campus.

  63. Yasalam Visits NYUAD During Road Safety Campaign

    Like last year's Yasalam extravaganza, an annual citywide entertainment program that culminates with the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this year's activities include concerts, films, and community events. One such event in the 2011 lineup is Yasalam Responsibly, during which a team of experts and local motor sporting celebrities will visit high schools and universities across the capital to raise awareness of the importance of being responsible road users.

  64. Wasel&NYUAD_edited

    Drawing in the Desert

    For Brett Bolton (NYUAD '14), the outing "provided a unique opportunity to further learn about the Emirates. I truly enjoyed Wasel's unique artistic experience and superb hospitality," he said. In addition to participating in the drawing exercise that utilized the desert around Wasel's compound — further developing the foundation established during the Drawing by Seeing course lectures — the students, along with local artists and other guests from the NYUAD community, learned from Safwan's professional experiences and took part in the discussion between the two artists that, according to Bolton, "focused on the similarities in their work and perception, despite their different backgrounds and influences." "We are a study in contrasts," Torreano explained. "That difference makes our discussions interesting, as do the similarities we share through painting."

    The trip was enjoyed by all, but perhaps most by Safwan himself. "The core was the beautiful smile I received from the team of NYUAD. They were all happy, surprised, and willing to see modern art in the Empty Quarter of Al Ain's desert dunes."

  65. NYUAD Students Get Real

    Guest Post: Joshua Shirley, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    On September 17, NYU Abu Dhabi students, staff, and faculty gathered at Abu Dhabi's Heritage Club Theater for the Presidential Welcome and Real AD Show. Continuing the tradition he established last year, NYU President John Sexton kicked off the evening with a welcoming address. Later, 16 members of the Class of 2014 (including the author of this post) took to the stage for the Real AD Show, a performance that illustrated the reality of life at NYUAD through music, dance, comedy, and drama.
  66. 2011-12 Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholars Selected

    NYU Abu Dhabi has selected its 2011-12 class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars. The 20 high-achieving students, currently in the third and fourth years of their bachelor's degree study in UAE higher education institutions — specifically, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Zayed University (ZU), and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) — will soon embark on a rigorous enrichment program designed to further their academic and personal growth.

  67. NYUAD Welcomes Class of 2015

    Selected from a pool of 5,858 applicants, the 161 freshmen that make up NYU Abu Dhabi's Class of 2015 came from near and far — from 60 countries around the globe. In addition to speaking 55 languages, the academically gifted group boasts a median SAT score of 1,460 (out of 1,600) and, at the class' 75th percentile, a perfect 800 on the math portion of the exam.

  68. NYUAD Filmmaker Screens Trilogy at NYC's Museum of Modern Art

    Guest Post: Dale Hudson, NYUAD Faculty Fellow.
    NYUAD professor of Film & New Media, Leonard Retel Helmrich, screened his trilogy — Eye of the Day (2001), Shape of the Moon (2004), and Position Among the Stars (2010) — at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this weekend. Helmrich's work has screened at prestigious film festivals around the world where it has earned him a reputation as a filmmaker who combines technical and artistic innovation with a profound sensitivity to depicting his subjects and exploring social issues.
  69. NYUAD Participates in Box Appeal Initiative

    Guest Post: Renee Dugan, NYUAD's director of Community Outreach.
    NYUAD staff and students united to participate in the Box Appeal initiative being offered by the Radisson Blu and Park Inn hotels in the Middle East region. Held in conjunction with Red Crescent, the "Small Box. Big Difference" campaign, which began on August 15 and ends today, provides laborers across the UAE with everyday necessities.
  70. Marhaba Week in Pictures

    Marhaba, NYUAD's welcome week, took place from August 26 to September 1. Throughout the week, the 161 members of the Class of 2015 took part in a variety of activities and events, including a Grand Welcome Iftar, a reading panel, a scavenger hunt, and a trip to Dubai. Check out their experiences in the selection of photographs below!

  71. NYUAD Announces Inaugural Recipients of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholarships

    The Summer Academy will introduce students to the principles of a liberal arts education in the summers following their 10th and 11th grades through a rigorous educational experience set across three of NYU’s international locations: Abu Dhabi, New York, and Florence, Italy. The curriculum will include courses that emphasize critical thinking, writing and discussion in English, quantitative reasoning for the sciences, standardized test preparation, leadership development, and college admissions counseling.
    "I thought it would be a challenge and it has," scholarship winner Darwish Al Marar, a student at the American International School, told The National. "But I've learnt so much in these two weeks which I wouldn't have in school, like handling the SAT exam, and I've improved my English."
  72. NYU and Paris School of Economics Announce Global Partnership

    In an agreement that will bring together two of the world's leading economic faculties, NYU and the Paris School of Economics (PSE) have announced a global partnership. "Part of the paradigm shift guiding NYU's global expansion," according to NYU Provost David McLaughlin, the alliance will create a faculty exchange program between the two institutions, which will facilitate faculty and research collaboration, and bring members of the PSE faculty to teach in NYU's global network, beginning with NYU Abu Dhabi this fall.

  73. NYU Partners with University of the People

    Covered in today's New York Times, the partnership will enable University of the People students who show exceptional promise to apply to NYU Abu Dhabi after at least a year of study.

    "Our mission is spreading our education and knowledge," said NYU President John Sexton, "and if we can find some amazing kids from sub-Saharan Africa or Haiti through this wonderful vehicle of the University of the People and set an example among elite schools with resources, so much the better."

    As Reshef said, "It's almost unbelievable. Most of our students had no alternative for higher education before we opened the gates for them, and now the most successful may be able to further pursue their dreams by attending one of the best universities in the world."

  74. One Year Later, NYUAD is "Home"

    As her classmates finished their finals and began packing their bags for summer break, Leah Reynolds (NYUAD '14) put fingers to keyboard for The National. In her article, which ran in Thursday's paper, she looks back on NYUAD's inaugural year and contemplates what has changed in just eight short months.

    "Just a year ago I would not have imagined a college experience in which I could not always see my classmates clearly enough to recognize their faces or during which my partners for group projects would be located oceans away," Reynolds wrote. "However, that experience might be an analogy for the state we live in, on a bridge between worlds." And now, more comfortable thanks to time and interactions with the local community, the bridge has become home.

    Indeed, as Reynolds put it, "Whatever the admissions literature may say, the NYU Abu Dhabi experience is neither simply that of an American-style liberal arts education nor that of living in the Middle East. It is a place that brings those two notions together. I don't think of it as the 'world's honors college,' as it bills itself. I just think of it as home."

  75. Arabic Comes Alive With Khulood Kittaneh

    NYU Abu Dhabi's admissions process for prospective students is both highly competitive and critically important, but the selection of faculty is tantamount. Matching young minds to NYUAD who will most thrive in this environment is as imperative as selecting the academic minds that will best teach them. There is perhaps no better example of this union than Arabic Language Instructor Khulood Kittaneh. "I dreamt of working with an American university, but my heart was in the Middle East," she said. "NYUAD was a perfect fit and I felt at home right away." When hearing about Kittaneh's tremendous success instructing Arabic to foreigners in the Middle East, it is easy to understand how she thrived at the University so quickly.
  76. NYUAD Students Get Scuba Certified

    Thanks to a scuba diving course offered by the University's Athletic Department, 23 NYUAD students are now PADI-certified open-water scuba divers. The class, which was taught by Abu Dhabi's Al Mahara Diving Center, required the students to complete six classroom sessions, three confined pool dives, and four open-water dives before being awarded certification.
  77. NYUAD Event Sheds Light on Devastating Effects of Global Overfishing

    NYUAD Event Sheds Light on Devastating Effects of Global Overfishing

    According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global fishing fleet is 2.5 times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support. As a result, 52 percent of the world's fisheries are fully exploited and 24 percent are overexploited, depleted, or recovering from collapse. In order to shed light on the disastrous effects of these sobering statistics, NYUAD Ecoherence and the Roots and Shoots Club, along with the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS)/WWF, recently held an event to examine both the worldwide effects of this epidemic and the current situation in the Gulf region.
  78. NYUAD Recognizes Students and Local Organizations for Community Collaborations

    Twenty-four UAE-based organizations were recognized by NYUAD this week at the University's Outreach Recognition Ceremony, which was held to thank them for supporting NYUAD in its inaugural year and providing a range of opportunities to the Class of 2014.
  79. NYUAD Students Hit the Slopes

    NYUAD Students Hit the Slopes

    As the temperature in Abu Dhabi continues to climb to somewhat uncomfortable levels, 17 NYUAD students recently traveled to Dubai to hit the slopes for a few hours of skiing and snowboarding. It all went down at the Mall of the Emirates, which houses Ski Dubai, the world's first indoor ski slope. The facility contains more than 22,500 square meters of real snow and five runs, the longest of which is 400 meters.
  80. NYUAD Student's Film Debuts at ZUMEFF 2011

    NYUAD Student's Film Debuts at ZUMEFF 2011

    What began as an assignment in Professor Savio's Sound, Image, and Story course is now an official selection of the 2011 Zayed University Middle East Film Festival (ZUMEFF). Besik Turazashvili (NYUAD '14) was one of approximately 70 filmmakers from universities around the region whose work was selected for this year's festival. And, in addition, his was one of just a few films chosen to be shown on the big screen. "I was really surprised," said Turazashvili. "As it was my first time in a film festival and it is my freshmen year, I never expected that my film would be screened for the big audience."
  81. NYUAD's Making Theater Students Experience the Magic of India

    Guest Post: Joshua Shirley, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    Recently, a group of 14 NYUAD students set off for the Abu Dhabi International Airport bound for a weekend in Kerala, India. The purpose of the trip? To meet and learn from NYUAD Associate Professor of Theater Rubén Polendo's friend and longtime associate Gurukkal. The outing was part of Polendo's Making Theater course, which encourages students to work together as a performance company and teaches the fundamentals of collaborative theater-making.
  82. MasquerADe Ball Commemorates Conclusion of NYUAD's Inaugural Year

    In masks and formal attire, NYUAD students danced the night away at the University's MasquerADe Ball, hosted by NYUAD Vice Chancellor Al Bloom and NYU President John Sexton. Held on April 17 at the breathtaking Yas Hotel on Yas Island, home to Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit, the event commemorated the conclusion of NYUAD's inaugural year.
  83. NYUAD Dragon Boat Team Takes Top Prize in Dubai

    The NYUAD Dragon Boat team tasted victory once again over the weekend at the Dubai International Dragon Boat Festival. Twenty students participated in the event (eight of whom participated in the Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival this past October) and took home top prize in the School/University category after beating all the other teams in the "A" finals.
  84. NYUAD Students Make Music with WOMAD Festival Artists

    "This is my music, this is what I do, my way."
    These are the words of Cameroonian singer, songwriter, and musician Muntu Valdo, who visited the NYUAD campus on Tuesday afternoon for a music workshop. Valdo is in town for the World of Music, Arts, and Dance (WOMAD) Festival, which starts tonight on the Abu Dhabi corniche and at the Al Ain Fort. The artists, coming from myriad nations with expertise in a wide range of genres, will showcase their talents through April 9.
  85. Children, Community Service, and Collaboration on Spring Break in Kenya

    Guest Post: Leah Reynolds, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    For 12 NYUAD students, spring break brought not just revelry but a chance to offer their time and talents to the Makindu Children's Center (MCC) in rural Kenya. The center, which provides education, health, and nutrition for more than 400 vulnerable children and places orphans with guardians in local families, served as gracious host to the visiting NYUAD students during their trip, introducing them to both the social issues and immense spirit of the Kenyan people.
  86. Ancient and Modern Collide on Spring Break in Istanbul

    Guest Post: Meike Radler, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    Visiting the vibrant and historically rich metropolis of Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, during spring break gave 10 NYUAD students, two professors, and a staff leader welcome respite from hectic campus life. Organized in conjunction with and as an integral part of Professor Nadine Roth's course, Urbanism and Modernism: Paris, Istanbul, Berlin, the purpose of the trip was to research and experience the development of the modern-day city of Istanbul, track its changes through history, and explore how these changes have impacted the urban fabric of the city.
  87. Cultural Immersion and a Special Homecoming On Spring Break In Ethiopia

    Guest Post: Joshua Shirley, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    Of all the NYUAD-organized trips during spring break, none were more greatly anticipated than the journey to Ethiopia. In addition to taking part in a community-based learning program, the group — made up of 13 students from 13 different countries — witnessed the return of classmate Musbah Ormago to his homeland and hostel, the Ethiopian Education Foundation (EEF), an organization that provides tuition scholarships and boarding to the country's talented yet severely underprivileged students.
  88. NYUAD Welcomes Shanghai Campus to NYU's Global Network

    In a major step in its evolution as the first global network university, NYU has announced the creation of NYU Shanghai, which will be located in the heart of Pudong and accept its first class of undergraduate students in September 2013. Like NYU Abu Dhabi, this third portal campus will be a comprehensive, degree-granting, liberal arts and science university.
  89. Adventure, Education, and Fun on Spring Break in Kuwait

    It was a whirlwind few days for 14 NYUAD students who jetted off to Kuwait for their spring break excursion. The four-day trip included visits to the Kuwait Oil Company, the Heritage Museum, the Kuwait Science Club, and nearby Failaka Island. The students also got to try some local cuisine and get a little shopping done at Mubarakiya, the oldest market in the country.
  90. Four Days in Doha: NYUAD Students Experience Qatari Culture, Arts, and History

    Guest Post: Dmitriy Tretyakov, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    Experiencing Doha in just four days turned out to be a pleasant surprise for a group of 14 NYUAD students who visited Qatar for a University-organized trip during spring break. The 50-minute flight from Dubai to Doha was one of the shortest flights most participants had ever taken, and therefore no one expected the Qatari capital to be that much different from Abu Dhabi. The contrasts, however, were to be found in architecture, historical sites, recreational activities, and even city life. Lan Duong (NYUAD '14) described Doha as "a bit disorganized because it has just started to become a modern city, but in general, it felt like a very livable city and seemed quite family friendly — I saw a number of large, newly built playgrounds and long Сorniche walkways."
  91. NYUAD Volunteers Support 2nd Annual Abu Dhabi Triathlon

    NYUAD Volunteers Support 2nd Annual Abu Dhabi Triathlon

    Guest Post: Wayne Young, NYUAD associate director of Athletics.
    On Saturday, March 12, more than 1,500 athletes from 51 countries convened in the capital to compete against each other, themselves, and the weather in the 2nd Annual Abu Dhabi Triathlon. As they left in waves from the Emirates Palace starting line, NYUAD volunteers — 15 members of the University community who worked in shifts during the day-long event — armed themselves with water, bananas, sunscreen, and Gatorade at an aid station on Saadiyat Island.
  92. NYUAD Runners Travel to Jordan for 14th Annual Dead2Red Relay

    Guest Post: Laith Aqel, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    NYUAD is running circles around other universities, literally. Twenty-two students and seven faculty/staff members recently traveled to Jordan to participate in the 14th annual Dead2Red Relay Run, which took place from March 3-4. Forming two competitive groups of ten members each, they raced along a scenic route all the way from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea.
  93. Gordon Brown Sits Down With the Class of 2014

    Guest Post: James Lloyd, NYUAD Class of 2014.
    The announcement that former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was to spend time in Abu Dhabi was one that many in the NYUAD community had been anticipating since his appointment as NYU's inaugural Distinguished Global Leader in Residence. Nevertheless, a palpable excitement built in the days leading up to his February 24 arrival, brought on, no doubt, by the prospect of meeting the man who was responsible for leading the United Kingdom through its longest period of prosperity, as well as playing an instrumental role in its recovery from the global crisis.
  94. Students Discover Scuba on Al Maya Island

    Recently, 33 NYUAD students donned masks, fins, and air tanks during an introductory scuba experience at a resort on Abu Dhabi's Al Maya Island. With the help of two instructors from the Al Mahara Diving Center, the soon-to-be divers were trained to use their gear and then enjoyed an hour-long session in the pool. After passing various breathing and visibility tests in the shallow end, they headed to the deep end for a slightly more realistic diving experience.

  95. Theater Mitu Brings CHAOS to Abu Dhabi

    Theater Mitu Brings CHAOS to Abu Dhabi

    The stage is set for CHAOS. From March 2-5, against the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, NYUAD Professor of Theater Rubén Polendo will direct Theater Mitu, his New York-based theater company, as it performs CHAOS. Presented by the NYUAD Institute and produced in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the ground-breaking show — the first professional theater production to be conceived, rehearsed, and produced in Abu Dhabi — is an adaptation of a quartet of short stories by Italian author and Nobel Laureate Luigi Pirandello.
  96. Middle East Forum Talks Media and Art

    Middle East Forum Talks Media and Art

    This month, the Middle East Forum hosted two luminaries of media and art to discuss the roles of their respective fields in a region that has seen much recent change and media coverage. Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, and Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of The 99, recently sat down with the NYUAD student organization, which meets biweekly as an environment to discuss Middle East politics and current events, analyze issues related to the region, and receive special access to notable academics in the field.
  97. NYUAD Adventure Club Sets Sail in Oman

    NYUAD's Adventure Club had their first outing this past three-day weekend, as 28 students headed to the mountains of Musandam, Oman. The group, which gathered for departure early on Thursday morning, took a bus from Abu Dhabi to the peninsula, a governorate of Oman separated from the rest of the country by the UAE.

  98. 'Battle of the Couples' Competition Proves Fierce

    Eighteen members of the Class of 2014 battled it out for top prize at a Battle of the Couples competition, held on Valentine's Day. The game, which was similar in style to the Newlywed Game, required each participant to pair up with a roommate or floormate and be quizzed about each other on stage in front of their peers. Despite meeting less than six months ago, contestants were expected to know a variety of personal details about their classmates, such as how they like their eggs and in what city they were born. The competitors — six female and three male pairs — were given only two strikes before they were eliminated, and the competition was intense. After one hour of play, only three teams were still standing, having answered questions such as "What is your partner's mother's full name?" and "What is the background on your partner's computer?"

  99. Class of 2014 Captures Cosmopolitanism Through Its Own Lens

    They hadn't yet officially set foot on the NYUAD campus, but the Class of 2014 already had their heads in the books. Last summer, before the University opened its doors, 43 incoming freshmen in locations all over the world took part in Cosmopolitan Ideas for Global Citizens, an interactive and electronically conducted colloquium based on Kwame Appiah's book, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, that asked the students to consider Appiah's text and how it might relate to their own community.
  100. Dreams Take Flight at Al Ain Aerobatic Show

    Eighteen NYUAD students traveled to Abu Dhabi's neighboring city of Al Ain last week to watch seven planes battle it out for top prize in the Al Ain Aerobatic Show's Desert Challenge, which showcased teams from all over the world, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Chani Gatto (NYUAD '14) appreciated the diversity. "It is nice to see so many countries represented. It is kind of like NYU Abu Dhabi in a sense!"

  101. Time Zone No Match for Super Bowl XLV Fans

    Guest Post: Thomas Garbelotti, a disappointed Steelers fan.

    Despite an early morning kickoff at 3:30 Abu Dhabi time, a dozen NYUAD students and a few staff from the American continents and the UK gathered in the Sama Tower Campus Lounge to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers battle it out in Super Bowl XLV live on four large-screen televisions.

  102. NYUAD Rings in Year of the Rabbit During Lunar New Year Celebration

    NYUAD students, faculty, and staff wished each other a Happy New Year while celebrating at the University's first annual Lunar New Year event on February 3. The holiday, which marked the beginning of the lunar calendar — this year represented by the Rabbit — is celebrated in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, and Mongolian cultures.
  103. Exhibition of Worldwide Phenomenon The 99 Now at NYUAD

    Exhibition of Worldwide Phenomenon The 99 Now at NYUAD

    Last Thursday, the walls of NYUAD's Downtown Campus got just a little brighter as the NYUAD Institute unveiled its exhibition of The 99, a comic book based on Islamic history that has become a global sensation. The impressive collection features original art, cover designs, and select pages, detailing the publication's meteoric rise in popularity across both Arabic- and English-speaking worlds.
  104. Students Converge in Abu Dhabi to Inspire Change

    Some 200 students from around the world converged in Abu Dhabi at the end of January. They shared a common goal: to develop solutions for global issues. Traveling from countries including Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, the students were in town for the Global Issues Network Conference, a three-day event that encouraged them to make a difference by empowering them to work internationally with their peers to generate results for worldwide problems.

  105. NYUAD Football Builds International Relations During Trip to Qatar

    Guest Post: Vic Lindsay, assistant coach of NYUAD Football and NYUAD manager of Global Education Operations.

    Following the successful completion of NYU Abu Dhabi's first J-Term, 20 students and three coaches flew to Doha, Qatar, representing the NYUAD football team. They hoped to use sports not only as a means to see the world, but to build international relationships and develop a stronger sense of family amongst the team. For four days, through both victory and defeat, they learned the true values of sportsmanship and friendship.

  106. J-Term in Abu Dhabi a Time for Education and Exploration

    After spending time away for winter break, ninety of NYUAD's 150 students ventured back to Abu Dhabi for January Term. For this session, students had the choice of nine courses taught by professors from around the globe.

  107. NYUAD Students Experience Politics and History in London

    Xiaomei Wu (NYUAD '14) really experienced the interesting dynamics of the city. "Everything here is an antique! It is like all of London is a museum. Basically every street and every house has a history," she said. "But it is also a city with both historical and modern elements. It's both old and young."

    Throughout their three-week course, taught by London School of Economics professor Simon Hix and NYUNY professors Joseph Tucker and Michael Laver, students were exposed to the inner workings of the European Union. "We got to meet with members of the European Parliament, ambassadors to Croatia and Bosnia, and even got to visit the House of Lords and the House of Commons. I was surprised to see that the speakers still wear wigs!" said Tine Paulsen (NYUAD '14).

    Wu was impressed to feel the city's political power play out in her day-to-day life. "The UK definitely has a very important role in Europe, and it's also a key member of the EU. Being in London I could feel a real Europe. The concept of EU and Europe was no longer in the book. It was all around me."

    Wu also took time out of her busy schedule to experience some authentic British culture. "I saw two plays while in London. There is rarely any theater in my home city, so it was exciting to see a live play! I also saw the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, which was a five-minute walk from our dorm." Paulsen also took the opportunity to explore, taking a tour of the city with her resident advisors. "We took the tube from place to place, including the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, and then took a boat tour under Tower Bridge."

    Much like her fellow students who went abroad, Wu couldn't wait to get back to the warm Gulf weather. "London is very cold. I miss the sun in Abu Dhabi!"

    Read about the students' J-Term experiences in Shanghai, New York, and Abu Dhabi.

  108. Davies' Translation of Yalo Wins 2010 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize

    In its fifth year, the Saif Ghobash – Banipal Prize is administered by the Society of Authors in the UK and awards an annual prize of £3,000 GBP. Submitted works must be a published translation in English of a full-length imaginative and creative Arabic work of literary merit published in the 35 years prior to the submission of the translation, and first published in English translation in the year prior to the award. The first award of its kind, the Saif Ghobash – Banipal Prize was established in 2005 by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature in English translation, and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. It is now sponsored by Omar Saif Ghobash in memory of his father, the late Saif Ghobash, who was passionate about Arabic literature.

    The judges were unanimous in their decision to award Davies first prize. Impressed by the sensitivity of his translation, they also applauded his "simple but exquisitely crafted prose lines." As judge Elliott Colla, associate professor in the department of Arabic and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, said, "Humphrey Davies' seamless translation hides the skill with which he works here. The language of this novel is notoriously difficult. Davies renders this difficulty in a fluent British idiom, but never at the expense of the complexities of the original."

    This is something the Davies-Khoury duo has achieved before. Khoury's Gate of the Sun, also translated by Davies, won the Saif Ghobash – Banipal Prize in 2006. Davies was also a runner-up this year for his translation of Sunset Oasis by Bahaa Taher.

  109. NYUAD's Freshman Applications Soar

    This year NYUAD offered two Early Decision programs, both binding, which garnered 579 applications. Of the 214 candidates in the first cycle, 59 were offered admission. "This year, following an extensive international outreach effort, and of course, reports of the remarkable success of our inaugural Class of 2014, we have seen impressive growth in both the number of applications and in the already remarkable quality of NYUAD applicants," said Linda Mills, NYU's senior vice provost for undergraduates and associate vice chancellor for admissions and financial support for NYU Abu Dhabi.

    NYU New York also saw an increase in freshman applications. This year, 41,058 hopefuls applied for approximately 4,800 spots in NYUNY's Class of 2015, exceeding last year's record for total applications by 11 percent. Over the past two decades, applications for freshman admission to NYU have more than quadrupled.

    A clear indicator that students are embracing the notion of a global education and are excited by the potential to study at NYU's two portal campuses as well as its 11 Global Academic Centers around the world, the University received 7,625 applications from students outside of the United States — an increase of 36 percent from last year. As Randall Deike, NYU's vice president for enrollment management, said, "We are immensely proud and grateful that so many extremely talented high school students from around the world are interested in NYU, particularly given the economy and the declining demographics of graduating high school students. Clearly they are attracted by NYU's great strengths — its global presence and opportunities, the quality and range of its academic programs, and its vitality and entrepreneurial spirit."

    And perhaps this remarkable quality of applicants — and that of the inaugural class — along with the University's low acceptance rate (at 2.1 percent last year) has raised the bar even higher, influencing those applying to NYUAD. Indeed, average SAT scores for candidates competing for spots at both campuses appear to be even higher than those posted by last year's applicants.

  110. NYUAD Students Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple

    "We got to go to a different museum everyday," said Baltaji, who took her course at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. "We have been to the Frick Collection, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cloisters. By far the best day I have had was going to the Frick Collection while it was closed and getting to see the private rooms that are usually closed to the public."

    Simon Huang (NYUAD '14) opted for Punishment in Law, Politics, and Society, taught by NYU School of Law professor Rachel Barkow, which included trips to the Metropolitan Corrections Center, a trial at a federal courthouse, and even a stop at the American Gangster Museum. Inside the classroom, Huang and his fellow classmates discussed everything from lobbying forces to ways of reforming the penal system. "It was deliciously fun!" he exclaimed.

    New York J-Term students were also given the opportunity to study New York and Modernity, taught by NYU Associate Dean of English and NYUAD Associate Dean of Humanities Cyrus Patell, as well as Principles of Marketing, taught by NYU Stern School of Business Academic Director Bruce Buchanan.

    Outside of the classroom, Baltaji was sure to make the most of the city. "I explored the city by foot just to see where I would end up. I actually love the fact that you can walk everywhere and anywhere and find a variety of alluring stores — and even if you get lost the people are incredibly helpful." Huang chose to spend most of his free time in the theater. "I went to see a total of six shows on Broadway: Wicked, Jersey Boys, The Importance of Being Earnest, American Idiot, Chicago, and Billy Elliot. I also did touristy things like visit the Statue of Liberty and take a sightseeing bus tour. The city is certainly ever-changing; there's no end to the number of things you've yet to do and places you've yet to go."

    The biggest hardship of living in the city that never sleeps? "Things are definitely more expensive there," Huang said. "The tube of toothpaste I bought at the store next door cost $5.50!" Baltaji, on the other hand, thought the hardest part was the winter weather, specifically the late-December blizzard that blanketed the city in snow. "The cold has by far gotten to me; it just really causes me to feel like I should stay in bed all day bundled in layers of blankets. I would give anything to be back in the warmth of Abu Dhabi!"

    Read about the students' J-Term experiences in Shanghai, London, and Abu Dhabi.

  111. NYUAD Students Take Shanghai

    According to Gancheva, the most interesting part of Shanghai was the richness and diversity of the culture, both traditional and modern. "The most exciting thing about Shanghai is the striking contrast between the old and the new, the traditional and the global," she said. "Shanghai is an amazing place where changes happen quickly: the ultra-modern future coexists with ancient culture and traditions." Taiwanese-American student Alex Wang (NYUAD '14) agrees. "I'm dumbfounded by the confluence of history and modernity in this city," he said. "China differs significantly from the version of the country portrayed by my parents — who are ardent supporters of Taiwanese independence — and the Western media."

    The NYUAD students — as well as two NYUNY students — took classes at East China Normal University and were housed in the international dorms alongside other Chinese students. While taking a course entitled Shanghai: The City and the Environment, taught by NYU Shanghai director Mingzheng Shi, Gancheva, Wang, and their fellow students had the opportunity to take a day trip to Beijing and visit the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, as well as try some new cuisine. Gancheva tried Beijing duck, but unlike some of her fellow students, passed on the scorpions. For Wang, the food was one of the best parts of the trip. "Roasted yams were by far my favorite; they're sold by the kilo and are five to six times are large as the yams I find in the States; spicy bullfrog and corn-flavored ice cream were both close seconds!"

    Thinking about NYU's hopes to open a portal campus in Shanghai, Wang said, "There's a dynamism and vitality here that I've never felt in any other city. Shanghai has the potential to be the next creative capital of the world."

    Read about the students' J-Term experiences in London, New York, and Abu Dhabi.

  112. NYUAD Competes in Inaugural Yas Island Triathlon

    Six hundred triathletes from around the world made their way to Abu Dhabi's Yas Island on Friday for Tri Yas, a new triathlon noted to be the first held on a Formula 1 circuit. Among the throngs of swimmers, cyclists, and runners were nine athletes from NYUAD who made up three relay teams — two that took part in the Olympic Distance Relay (1.5km open-water swim, 40km bike, 10km run) and one that participated in the Sprint Distance Relay (750m open-water swim, 20km bike, 5km run).
  113. US Secretary of State Clinton References NYUAD in UAE TV Appearance

    US Secretary of State Clinton References NYUAD in UAE TV Appearance

    US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't just pleased with the deepening partnership between the US and the UAE in matters of energy. During her recent tour of the UAE, Oman, and Qatar to encourage greater political, social, and economic opportunities for the region's youth, Clinton spoke during a special taping of MBC1's Arabic talk show Kalam Nawaem — filmed at Abu Dhabi's Zayed University on January 10 — about America's growing presence in the Middle East and, when referring to education, used NYUAD as an example of positive US involvement in the region.

  114. Abu Dhabi Week Names NYUAD Institute One of Its Favorite Things

    To celebrate its 100th issue, Abu Dhabi Week has created a list of its 100 favorite things about the capital — a somewhat fitting tribute for a publication that delivers its readers all things Abu Dhabi week after week. Along with "Concerts on Yas" and "Kitchens at the fish market, Mina," the NYUAD Institute made the list for its lectures, performances, exhibitions, and workshops that keep "us informed and entertained."

  115. Zayed National Museum Poised to Take Flight

    Designs have been unveiled for NYUAD's future neighbor on Saadiyat Island. The Zayed National Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2012/13, is a monument and memorial to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of Abu Dhabi and the founding president of the UAE. As such, Foster + Partners, the architects behind the project, have translated the Sheikh's love for falconry into the museum's design, which showcases a building comprised of a landscaped mound, from which emerge five enormous feather-like steel towers, the tallest of which will stand approximately 410 feet high.