Linajma, which means "to come together" in Arabic, is NYU Abu Dhabi's non-credit learning program that aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills and foster public engagement among members of the University and the city of Abu Dhabi at large. Posters across campus reminded students, faculty, staff, and guests that this spring's Linajma Showcase was, indeed, a time to come together.
The event space was filled with tables exhibiting the different courses offered during the semester. Among them were "Chez Chef" cooking courses, "The Art of Sushi," "Survival German" and Urdu classes, "Bollywood Dance," and different art courses offered by NYUAD students, staff, faculty, and partner organizations. During the Showcase, participants hopped between stations, trying everything from making their own ravioli to creating a mosaic work and watching students perform the different moves they had learned during the "Dances of the World" sessions.
According to Alex Heald, the NYUAD Global Academic Fellow who leads the program, "The positive turnout and energy present at both showcases [shows that] Linajma has become an integral part of the NYUAD student experience." Since its relaunch (the program was previously called Miniverse), Linajma has gathered more than 150 people from inside and outside the University community who have been involved either as participants in the Showcase, students, or instructors.
NYUAD freshman Beatrice Ionascu, an intern with Linajma, said she looks forward to the next showcase. "It embodies exactly what Linajma is about: all kinds of people — some even with family — coming together to celebrate the spirit of the NYUAD community," she said.
Heald hopes that the program will continue to grow as it looks forward to expanding both the variety of courses and the audience. With this development, the next showcase will no doubt deliver even more gathering, learning, and sharing.