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AUS Student Wins the 2014 Young Journalist Award
American University of Sharjah (AUS) journalism student Mais Al Amouri won the Young Journalist Award at the 11th Dubai International Film Festival. Al Amouri received the award, which was held in partnership with Gulf News this year, from the publication's Managing Editor Mohammed Almezel at the December 17, 2014 awards ceremony. Aside from the title, Al Amouri won an internship with Tabloid!, the leisure and lifestyle features section in Gulf News.
Along with five other media students, Al Amouri was tasked with writing reviews, interviews and news stories for Tabloid! during the week-long film festival. "I had the chance to explore various fields in the film industry. I attended press conferences and forums at Dubai Film Market, and wrote film reviews. I also had the chance to do one-on-one interviews with directors at press junkets," said Al Amouri, noting that the editor would choose one article out of all those written by the participants to publish per day. "I was luckily selected three times," she added.
"I owe my university, my professors, colleagues, family and friends this success. My heart was beating really fast when I heard my name followed by my university's name," she said. "This is a memorable moment."
The eye-opening experience came with its own set of challenges, however. "Covering the red carpet on the opening night was challenging. Some celebrities refused to speak while others were in a hurry," she explained. "It was also hard to do one-on-one interviews with cinema giants sometimes. But we tried to do our best and submit a story every day despite any difficulties."
Al Amouri also encouraged fellow AUS students to seize such opportunities whenever possible. "Any step that students take is important for broadening their knowledge and building stronger personalities," she noted.
Dr. Mohammad Ayish, Head of the Department of Mass Communication at AUS, echoed Al Amouri's stance. "Ours is a professional field that draws on so much beyond the classroom. We encourage our students to engage with competitions not only to demonstrate the relevance of their academic training, but also to fulfill their sense of accomplishment as professionals in the communications field," he said.
"In doing that, they would be able not only to realize the big professional challenges lying ahead, but also learn how those challenges could be met at this early phase of their life," added Dr. Ayish.
This is not the first time Al Amouri has made headlines for winning an award. Earlier this year, she "won [the] Al Aan TV Award for a video competition launched on the UAE 43rd National Day," Dr. Ayish stated. Her overall success, he added, "does not only speak to her solid academic training at AUS, but also to her motivation to be an outstanding achiever."
"It always makes us feel proud to see our mass communication students at the forefront of academic and professional achievement at local and global levels," added Dr. Ayish.
Dr. Ayish stated the Department of Mass Communication is keen on encouraging students to publish articles, join training sessions, and apply for awards as often as they can. "As a global media and communications hub, the UAE offers some of the finest opportunities for our students to prove their competitive edge and showcase their talent. We always do our best to connect our students with new opportunities for training and competition in the market," he explained. "We seek to foster our students' penchant for creativity through solid academic education and engagement with the industry."