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Students capture Islamic culture through art

Thursday, 16 May, 2013

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has hosted its fourth intra-university photographic competition on Islamic Arts, bringing together inspirational images from across the UAE.

This year’s competition attracted over 35 entries, each depicting a unique aspect of Islamic Art, from mosques and minarets, to mosaics and paintings, carpet weaving, calligraphy and much more.

“The response was phenomenal this time,” commented Ms Zeenath Khan, lecturer of Islamic Culture at UOWD. “Our students have really begun to grasp the concept of Islamic Arts, capturing unique shots of minarets at sun-down, calligraphic-art on walls and so on.”

The competition began as a way of encouraging students to extend their understanding of Islamic culture through the real-world, and has gathered widespread interest amongst the student community over the years. Of the 35 contestants this year, five finalists' entries were displayed on boards at UOWD in a two-day exhibition, where judges marked the entries based on criteria including creativity, quality and content depiction.

“We were very impressed with the finalists and their entries,” commented Mr Nawar al Hakeem, Associate Dean, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, and a judge at the competition. “Students showed true talent and passion through their lenses.”

The winning entries were announced at a prize-giving ceremony held in the University Auditorium, and the top three participants were presented with trophies by Ms Zeenath Khan, Ms Farah Khan (President of the Muslim Student Association) and Mr Maqsood Shahid (PR Officer of the Muslim Student Association).

The winners were:

First Place: Shakiba Hossein Abadi (depicting Islamic architecture through Mosques in the UAE).

Second Place: Mohammad Karimi (depicting Islamic architecture through Souqs in Sharjah, UAE).

Third Place: Ekta Gulabani (depicting a collage of Islamic art through mosaic, architecture, carpet weaving, paintings in Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, UAE).

“Our aim with such events is to try and integrate students with the local community, its culture and tradition, raise awareness about the uniqueness of the region, and its contribution to the modern civilization,” commented Ms Khan. “So, we hope to make this competition bigger and better by including other categories such as painting and calligraphy, and extending it to other university and school students as part of our community out-reach initiatives next year.”

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