24 May at the University of Wollongong in Dubai was a bustling day leading to an evening full of music, games, dance and celebration. Along with the promised good time at the UOWD 15th birthday party, the University also stood true to its commitment of giving back to the community. The UOWD scholarships were announced for needy students to attend university, with the first recipient, Ahmed Sidiq, a student of Manar Iman Charity School, present to receive his scholarship award from David Rome, President of UOWD.
Ahmed Sidiq will be studying for his Bachelor of Computer Science degree at the UOWD.
These scholarships represent our commitment to the UAE community, said David Rome, under this program, up to five academically meritorious but economically disadvantaged students will get the opportunity of pursuing university education. We could not think of a better way of marking our milestone of completing 15th years in the UAE.
The scholarships are a result of the ongoing working relationship between UOWDs Connexions Club and Manar Iman Charity School. Two other recipients have been identified and will receive their scholarships after they complete UOWDs academic and language requirements for admission.
Preceding the scholarship award was an exciting evening with the UOWD campus milling with a 1000 strong crowd comprising current and potential UOWD students, their families, friends and the community at large. A variety of interesting programmes appealing to every group present were spread between Blocks 5 & 15 of Knowledge Village and the UOWD auditorium. These ranged from the energetic and rhythmic Dubai Drums that swept the crowds in their flow with men, women and children merrily drumming away to the catchy beats at each of the three performances. The campus reverberated with rocking contemporary music chosen carefully by DJ Sash to suit the mood of the audience. Siraj, a UOWD student and MC for the evening kept the audiences informed with regular announcements while Radio Spice crew were present to cover the event live.
The multi-neon lit stage featured two music performances by UOWD student music bands, a fashion show featuring students from different countries dressed in their national costumes and a dance show choreographed by the popular Bosco and Caesar. The younger lot was kept busy with games such as Guess the Candy, Tail the Camel, Kick the Ball, Tug of War and were seen happily clutching the prizes that they had won. Others had their faces painted, their hands decorated with henna or their hair braided and beaded in intricate patterns.
A balloon bender, a mime artist and a stilt walker kept the crowds entertained while endless cups of tea and coffee supplied by sponsors Golden Leaf and Coffee Planet kept them refreshed. Some youngsters tried the sumo wrestling, others performed their hearts out for an acting competition set up by Shoof TV or participated in interesting games and quizzes set up by 3-M and the UOWD Marketing Club. An appetising spread catered to both non-vegetarians and vegetarians, while IFFCOs Tiffany brand gave out endless supplies of snacks and Kraft Foods supplied refreshing TANG drinks.
Other stalls included charities like the UAE Red Crescent, The Citizen Foundation, SNF and EEG. Books at cost prize were on sale at the Renaissance distributors stall, Bosco & Caesar introduced their dance classes, Philips displayed their products and a double decker bus and Avon cosmetics provided free makeovers and ran a best made-up guy and girl competition. A competition for the best national costume was also held with the stage full of colourfully dressed young men and women representing the multicultural environment that remains UOWDs strength and identity.
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