On the occasion of Bangladesh’s 43rd Independence Day, UOWD’s Bangladesh Expat Student Association, Amra Notun held their second annual student convention at the UOWD Auditorium.
“This year, we chose the topic ‘Power of Youth’, in-keeping with world issues and the pivotal role the youth had played in Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971,” commented Fariha Khan, President of the student club at UOWD.
The event was a public speaking competition with an elimination round based on speeches submitted prior to the contest. Six finalists battled it out in front of three judges and over 50 audience members, including students and staff of UOWD and visitors from the community and industry.
“As the topic was Power of Youth, we invited judges who are young and have achieved monumental positions at a young age,” said Maqsood Shahid, the Public Relations Liaison of the club.
Judges included Sandeep Adnani, an Airfreight Development Manager for GC Logistics in Jebel Ali Freezone and the Vice President, Education of the Toastmasters Club Dubai Chapter, Yana Makaveeva, who is the CEO and President of AIESEC UAE - a part of the international AIESEC network, one of the world’s largest student-run organisations, and Kunal Thakur from THE IML GROUP and manager of the youth platform Bab al Shabab, a site where students can find jobs and internships, learn about student orientated events, and link with each other through social networking.
The event began with a welcome address from Fariha Khan, followed by the keynote speech by Redwan Hassan, President of UOWD’s Student Representative Council. The competition then commenced, with each participant having a maximum of five minutes to put across their thoughts and opinions. The speakers were graded based on content, delivery and presentation, among other criteria set by the Public Speaking Club at UOWD who supported the event.
While the judges calculated their scores, Amra Notun engaged the audience with a short on-the-spot quiz based on a video of Bangladesh. The quiz sparked a competitive mood amongst participants and spot prizes were awarded to the winners. Madhyama Chowdhury, President of the Public Speaking Club, went on to close the ceremony by announcing the winners, thanking the judges and sponsors, Student Express and Bab al Shabab.com. The winners were Hanishka who bagged the first prize, followed by Yinka in second place and Roshan a close third. The event was hosted by Amal.
“We started the Student Convention last year with the aim to bring students together for a common cause to change mindsets and ultimately change the future,” commented Zeenath Khan, lecturer and faculty chairperson of Amra Notun. “I think this year’s topic and the student speeches highlighted the world’s youth movement, the kind of power they really do possess, and the sheer will they can apply to change the course of history”.
At the end of the event, competition judge Sandeep commented, “We were pleasantly surprised and impressed by the calibre of the speakers who participated today and the seamless organisation of the event itself. We definitely look forward to more from the club and the students at UOWD in the future”.