Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fall 2016 Covering an Event Assignment

For Fall 2016, students in the Multimedia Writing course covered many events on The American University in Cairo (AUC) campus.

We used Adobe Spark to produce the web pages.

Here is the list of the events covered:

On Tuesday, Nov. 1
Makeup Workshop in AUC Reveals Beauty Tips
By Danah AlAnsari, Farida Kamal, Haidy Haitham and Yomna Abdelnasser

On Monday, Nov. 7
Directing Askar wa-Harameyya: A Professor's Experience
By Doaa Abdelghany, Mayar Magdy and Rania Yehia

On Wednesday, Nov. 9
The University Forum on Student Tuition
By Mariam Seif, Reem Mohamed and Hanien Gaballah

On Saturday, Nov. 12
Heated Discussion Breaks Out at Cairo Streets and Stories Event
By Lama Ibrahim, Kareem Ragheb and Kirillos Samuel

On Wednesday, Nov. 16
Egyptian Superheroes That No Longer Need to Fly
By Leila Nassar, Yasmine Ayoub and Yara El-Fayoumi

On Sunday, Nov. 20
Bridging the Gap Between Media Education and the Industry
By Mayar El Zanty, Jackline Said and Farha Tomoum

Friday, November 4, 2016

Makeup Workshop at the American University in Cairo

By Danah Al-Ansari, Haidy Haitham, Farida Kamel, and Yomna Abdelnasser.

Professional Makeup Artist Iman Oraby held a workshop on Tuesday, November 3, from 2:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M., at the American University in Cairo. The workshop aimed to teach the attendees makeup application methods and skills.

Oraby presenting makeup brushes

Oraby demonstrating on a Canvas
Iman Oraby started discussing and explaining makeup techniques at the beginning of the workshop. Then, Oraby started to apply makeup on her model, Hana El-Badrawy. The attendees followed step by step by drawing with real makeup on their canvas that Oraby provided, as a way for them to practice what they have learned.

Oraby explaining to a participant

Oraby applying makeup to a model
 "The more you practice, the more you master applying makeup." said Oraby.
According to Gina ElSagheer, one of the participants, "Iman has a makeup application that showcases her makeup tutorials, but, it is so much better to see how things are done in real life". 

We covered this makeup event, as it was so interesting to see a fun and unique workshop take place at AUC. The workshop was very interactive and the participants were very interested. Also, we interviewed Oraby after the workshop and inquired about her makeup passion. She mentioned the impact of social media on her profession. "Media is a massive influence, it is what I use as a marketing tool, and everything is done by social media. It is how I have an interactive relationship with my client,” said Oraby.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Multimedia Writing Portfolios - Fall 2015

Students in JRMC 2202 Multimedia Writing at The American University in Cairo were required to produce digital portfolios of the work they completed in the course.

Each portfolio should have at least the following components:
  • Home page
  • Twitter Scavenger Hunt (TSH)
  • Interview
  • Photo Essay
  • Infographic
  • Covering an Event
  • About/contact page
Students use Weebly to complete their portfolios. This decision was made in 2014 after determining the ease of use in building a website via the Weebly platform. The drag and drop component is super simple. The best part is that the end result has the potential to be organized and professional.

Students were given some time in class to work on the portfolios along with feedback.

This course is one of two media writing core courses for the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The goal of the portfolio:
  • It should be error free because it is a showcase of their work to share for prospective internship or job opportunities.
Students should also be proud to display their body of work from the course in a public platform and in a professional manner.

This semester I taught two sections of this course. Here are the students' digital portfolios:
Multimedia Writing Section 1

Multimedia Writing Section 2

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

‘BRICS’: The Rising Global Powers

By Habiba Hany and Alaa El Dirini

(Cairo, Egypt)- The American University In Cairo’s (AUC) Department of Journalism & Mass Communication (JRMC) organized a talk with Firas Al Atraqchi, associate professor and associate chair of JRMC on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. ‘BRICS: An Alternative Narrative’ discussed a block of countries gaining economic and sociopolitical power on a multilateral level.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa or BRICS are being publicized as the new face of the developing world. In the talk by Al Atraqchi, he defined and explained the different elements of BRICS, stated their recent activities as an entity, and foreshadowed their future potential.The first summit was held in 2009 in Russia.  

“It is an economic grouping that has gone beyond its economic mandate and is becoming increasingly sociopolitical on the world stage,” said Al Atraqchi.  He also mentioned the changes in the world order and the functions of the already existing organizations such as the United Nations Security Council.
BRICS is considered a giant economic block. Al Atraqchi said, “BRICS has the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 16 trillion dollars.” This block has 4 trillion dollars in foreign reserves.
Jim O'Neill, Goldman Sachs's former chief economist and chairman, and the creator of the ‘BRICS’ acronym was ridiculed by the West and criticized for challenging the existing world order that is largely western. “O’Neill predicted that a lot of investment would move from Europe and North America into these countries,” elaborated Al Atraqchi.  
These post-colonial nations are now becoming an economic colonizer, explained Al Atraqchi. “Several countries are dealing in BRICS currencies, and this is a big thing,” Al Atraqchi went on to say. There is a shift from dominating western currencies.
Hussein Amin, JRMC professor, mentioned the media influence of the BRICS as a form of soft power. Regarding BRICS soft power, “We saw several new international and global media enterprises come to the floor,” commented Al Atraqchi.

In an interview with attendee Nermin Gerges, JRMC senior, said it was her first time hearing of
BRICS. “I am more motivated to go research more,” said Gerges.
BRICS have showed unprecedented power, regardless of media opposition, and plan to approach the U.S. and other global powers with more diplomacy. “Balanced governance and a more nuanced approach,” said Al Atraqchi.

Egyptian Screenwriter and Actress Address Drug Addiction

By Nouran Ibrahim, Monica Ayad and Christina Magdy

On Sunday, November 8, the Cairo International Model Arab League (CIMAL) hosted “The Message” in Moataz El Alfi Hall at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The event featured young actress Jamila Awad and screenwriter Mariam Naoum. The event revolved around the topic of addiction, an issue that was addressed in their hit Ramadan Series ‘Taht el Saytara’.
After anxiously waiting for an hour, the event commenced with a screening of the hit series ‘Taht el Saytara’s trailer for a hall packed with AUC  students. The guests, Naoum and Awad, made their entrance as the trailer came to an end. AUC CIMAL graduate advisor May Seoud then started the discussion with the two guests.

Addiction in Egypt is a phenomenon that is rapidly increasing at an alarming rate. According to the Health Committee in the Egyptian Assembly, 15% of drug addicts in Egypt are university students. Such a figure is what led AUC CIMAL member Omar Sadek to host and organize such an event at AUC.

Although such an issue has been addressed previously, what made ‘Taht el Saytara’ stand out was Naoum’s excessive research done through meeting and studying drug addicts and visiting rehab centers in Egypt. This led to a realistic depiction evident in ‘Taht el Saytara’.

In an interview we conducted with actress Jamila Awad, she stated that “it was challenging depicting the life of a drug addict, you have to feel what they’re going through without judging them.”
The guests also highlighted the different types of addiction. Screenwriter Mariam Naoum clarified that “when we talk about addiction it doesn’t necessarily mean that we mean drug addiction, the notion of addiction can be associated with people or even objects.”

Emphasizing the role of parents in guiding their children and making them aware of such a topic, Naoum stated that “it is the parents duties to become close friends with their children.”  

A Q&A session followed the discussion The questions asked included inquiries about certain scenes featured in the TV series along with comments AUC students had about  addiction leaving them with a reshaped perception regarding addiction. According to AUC student and attendee Zeina El Dakhakhni, “the event was informative and beneficial.” As the event came to an end, Naoum briefly mentioned that she will continue addressing controversial issues in her upcoming screenplays.  

Mentor-ship: The key to Success

By Farrah Hetata, Layla Ghalleb, and Mariam El Gammal

Malak Zaalouk, from the Middle East Institute for Higher Education, raised awareness of the importance of mentorship as a key to success in a workshop held by the Center of Learning and Teaching, CLT, in The American University in Cairo, AUC library on Nov. 9. The workshop was designed for AUC professors to help them improve their teaching skills.

Dr. Zaalouk defined mentorship as “reciprocal voluntary process” which “touches things like professional, emotional and personal relationships between a mentor and a mentee.” The purpose behind it is continuous professional development to provide support from an experienced and knowledgeable person.

According to CHRONUS, Mentoring and Talent Development Solutions; mentoring improves job placement rates, increases student retention rates, engages alumni and provides an enriching college experience.

During the workshop, Dr. Zaalouk explained that the ideal conditions for successful mentorship requires trust, commitment and respect.

The characteristics of the mentor are very important for successful relationship. Some of the main characteristics are honesty and the willingness to promote others.  

Professor Mohamed Dabbour, who teaches scientific thinking, viewed the workshop as “thought provoking, makes you reflect on different practices related to mentorship.” He adds that AUC could implement the mentorship program,  “With mentorship you are able to boost both teaching and research” which he believes that AUC is paying a lot of attention to.

When asked about how friends who work together should balance between being professional while not harming the friendship, Dr. Zaalouk said, “It is doable but it requires a very high level of maturity, it needs you to be able to differentiate which hat you are wearing at which time.”

Regarding the Egyptian people’s acceptance to the idea of mentorship, Dr. Zaalouk said, “We don’t have this culture as yet. But I have to say that I am so proud of the number of the Egyptian universities who actually managed to build bridges and partnership with surrounding schools through their visits and constant support of these schools.”

For future progress, the institute is planning to widen its horizon, and apply the mentorship program in other universities in Egypt, aside from AUC.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Cairo Tattoo Convention

By Samia El Khodary and Sara Elaraby

Egypt witnessed its second tattoo convention over the weekend at The Tipsy Teapot in Ma’adi. The event, held on November 6-7, from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., welcomed over 400 attendees to its venue for the sharing of body art.

According to the official Cairo Tattoo Convention website, the convention was created in conjunction with the Nowhereland Tattoo Project , where founder Orne Gil set out to “to bring the art of tattoo (to) countries – mainly in the Middle East – where it has been limited”. To bring like-minded individuals together, Gil partnered with fellow artist and photojournalist Ines Della Valle to bring her vision to life.

Valle, who had witnessed and documented the January 25th Revolution, and Gil reached out to artists, both local and foreign, to bring visibility to the underground art form. As a result, 20 local and international artists, composed of tattooers, piercers, and temporary body painters, gathered to provide a site for body art culture: artists were able to display their personal previous works, and worked on new tattoos for people that attended the convention.

The taboo of tattoos has kept the art mostly in the shadows, but that has recently started to change. According to Gil, the “tattoo culture (started) to move since more or less 3 years…(while) there were some artists that were working already, (it) was more exclusive…I think Cairo is ready for this.”

According to Valle, Egypt has been witnessing the rise of the tattoo art form, with about 70% of those who attended being local Egyptians, and welcoming over 12 more artists to the convention compared to the previous year.

One tattoo regular and convention attendee, Ahmed Talaat, was “shocked by the number of tattoo designers” and people at the event, and believes that Egypt should focus on more pressing issues rather than “being strict about a design… on my own skin”.  

Talaat’s belief is slowly becoming the norm in the city. With the slow change in the taboo of tattoo, there is hope to embrace modern ideals, accept all art forms, and provide venues for self expression to everyone.