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AUS student wins honors at Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition
American University of Sharjah (AUS) student, Dana Husam Abdallah, was awarded second prize in the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition sponsored by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The award ceremony took place on Friday, March 9 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City in Dubai.
To enter the competition, participants had to write a 1,500-word story entitled The Open Door. Abdallah wrote a story about a Pakistani family living in the UAE, holding a celebratory dinner for their friends on the occasion of the UAE's 40th national day. As part of her research, Abdallah sent out a questionnaire to her Pakistani friends via Facebook to find out more about their cultural traditions.
Her story centered on the daughter in the Pakistani family, Ambreen, who was heartbroken when the man she thought she would marry goes off to Karachi in search of a bride. A disturbing event during the national day celebrations reduces Ambreen to tears and the tale progresses from there.
Abdallah, majoring in mass communication and minoring in English literature, found out about the competition while taking a creative writing course with Nicholas Karavatos, Assistant Professor in the Department of English.
According to Karavatos, "Dana's sense of narrative structure and characterization, coupled with that desire to improve her craft through hard work, produced her award-winning story."
"It was during the semester break in January that I received the news. I was already happy about making the Dean's List for the fall semester, and it was at the same time that I received an email from one of the judges," said Abdallah. "The judge also asked me the name of my school so I proudly told her I'm a student at American University of Sharjah!" she added.
Abdallah won the award in the 18+ English language category of the story writing competition. She was presented her award by renowned author and Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler.