Posted on March 28, 2017

Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has recognized a group of its students for their excellence in media and research at a recent ceremony held in Education City. The university’s annual Media and Research Awards highlight students’ successes in the areas of research, documentary, creative writing, fiction, news, and multimedia content.

“This is a chance for NU-Q students to have their academic and professional work—journalism, films, and research—asssessed by outside experts who give them consistently high marks,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO.

Prior to the awards ceremony, the university hosted a showcase of all nominees at the HBKU Student Center in Education City. All of the submissions were adjudicated by local and international industry leaders – many of whom were present at both events to recognize the efforts of the nominees. “I’m glad that people are passionate about telling these stories, making sure that we know about these issues. What is important is that the students keep on doing it and that they remember it’s all about the people,” said Kamahl Santamaria, a journalist at Al Jazeera English. “I think people have the right idea. The energy, passion, and support that the students have for each other are wonderful to see. It heartens me that there are that many young people who want to do this still.”

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The winners were:

Creative Writing

Amna Al-Baker



Maryam Al-Thani and Sheikha Bahzad

Al Ghwasa – Pearl Diving

Fiction Film

Suleima AlHaj Abed and Hissa Al Mannai


Independent Image

Jemina Legaspi and Muhammad Faizan Shakir

Somewhere, Sometime

Independent Writing

Sara Zainel


Journalistic Writing

Habibah Abass and Ifath Sayed

Underreported Rape Crimes in Qatar


Urooj Azmi

Graphics Corner

Research: Humanities

Shakeeb Asrar

Evolution in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Research: Social Sciences

Muhammad Faizan Shakir

Effects of Childhood Cancer on Siblings and their Coping Mechanisms

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“We're incredibly proud of our work and we're overwhelmed by the feedback we've received. We want to keep telling stories and give awareness to all those who don't have a platform to project their stories or struggles,” communication sophomore Hissa Al-Mannai said of her award-winning film which examines the Palestinian identity.

The Media and Research Awards marks the conclusion of  NU-Q’s “Go Wild Week,” the annual spirit week on campus. Throughout the week, Northwestern University in Qatar Student Union organizes events and activities for the student body, staff, faculty, alumni, and the extended Northwestern community. “What I’ve seen at the ceremony, and throughout the judging process was passion and commitment — outstanding work,” Simon Ferguson, chief executive officer at Resolution Group, said. “The future of NU-Q is very bright.”

The judges were:

  • Maria Arbelaez, senior producer at Al Jazeera
  • Khalil Benkirane, head of grants at the Doha Film Institute
  • Rima Ismail, communications manager at Hamad bin Khalifa University Press
  • Hafiz Abdulla, director of museums at Msheireb Properties
  • Kamahl Santamaria, news anchor at Al Jazeera English
  • Shereena Qazi, online journalist at Al Jazeera English
  • Omar Khalifa, director and executive producer at The Film House
  • Hamad Al Mari, I Love Qatar presenter
  • Simon Ferguson, group chief executive officer at Resolution Films
  • Kristine Maj de Neergaard, independent art director
  • Peter Okorn, head of information technology at Doha Film Institute
  • Barry Malone, online editor at Al Jazeera
  • Abdullah Saleh Baabood, director of Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University
  • Claudia Lux, project director at Qatar National Library
  • Ingmar Weber, research director at Qatar Computing Research Institute
  • Omar Boukhris, post award director at Qatar National Research Fund