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AUK Wins Argana Art Contest with a Painting on Women Empowerment

American University of Kuwait (AUK) art students Fatemah Al-Shobbar and Zahraa Hamadi won first and third place, respectively, in the Universities Art Competition. The competition, which was co-sponsored by Argana Resorts & Hotels and the UNDP, is an intercollegiate art contest created to promote young artistic talents and support the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Millennium Development Goals. The awards ceremony and exhibition was held at the C-Club, Kuwait. More than 25 students from Universities around Kuwait submitted artwork to the Competition under the theme of "Power of Life".

During the opening ceremony, the top three winning artworks were announced, two of which were submissions made by AUK students Fatemah Al-Shobbar and Zahraa Hamadi, who won the first and third titles respectively.

The event was attended by the top management teams of participating universities and sponsors. In his opening remarks, AUK President Dr. Nizar Hamzeh emphasized the significance of this event in manifesting what he called "a perfect partnership between the corporate and educational sectors in Kuwait." Hamzeh also highlighted the liberal arts philosophy of AUK, which supports creativity and talent in all fields that "contribute to the development of the community and the world at large."

Fatemah Al Shobbar, the competition winner, expressed her thoughts about women empowerment through an image of a woman reading while sitting in the middle of a messy library, surrounded by books which were scattered everywhere around her. Fatemah explained that it resembled the tough path of women seeking education. "Finding our desired path as women is challenging, especially in this community. I have witnessed and lived up to some of it. We undo books on shelves, shuffle through them, and flip pages. This journey continues until we find what we truly desire and what is right for us after turning it into a messy journey," said Al Shobbar.

When the results were announced, Fatemah, who was not expecting the first place was surprised. "Winning that night definitely felt amazing and I would like to thank AUK, especially Professor Sharon Lawrence, for choosing me for this competition and all those who supported me through it," she said. Meanwhile, Zahraa Hamadi, the third place winner, expressed her wish to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty in the world through her submission of a painting that depicted a boy locked in a cycle of hunger and poverty while the world around him enjoyed luxury.

The Universities Art Competition was not the first victory for AUK art students this year. AUK was awarded first place in the REUSE competition, which was held at the Avenues Mall last January with Moustafa Al Khashab's dubbed "Metallic Stallion" art piece. Through its active participation in community wide activities, the Art and Graphic Design (GDES) Department at AUK continues to support the mission of AUK to enrich the society and create community involvement.

Argana Exhibition Opening Ceremony

Argana Exhibition Opening Ceremony - Left: Dr. Sleiman AlAskari, former Secretary General of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters. Right: Eng Khaled Al Mashaan, Chairman-Managing Director of Alargan International Real Estate Company

President Nizar Hamzeh giving his opening remarks


The Artwork

General photos of the exhibition

General photos of the exhibition

General photos of the exhibition

The judges panel speaking to Fatemah Al Shobbar (1st Place Winner) before announcing the final results

Zahraa Hamadi (3rd Place Winner) with AUK President Nizar Hamzeh and Professor Sharon Lawrence, Chair Art and Graphic Design (GDES) Department

Zahraa Hamadi (3rd Place Winner) discussing her painting to the Judges Panel before announcing the winners

The Judges Panel Speaking to Alia AlQabandi before announcing the winners

Sara AlKhalaf (Gender Equality)

Sara AlKhalaf discussing her painting to the Judges Panel before announcing the winners

Iqra Riaz discussing her painting to the Judges Panel before announcing the winners

Announcement of the Winners

First place winner, Fatemah Al Shobbar

First place winner and her painting

Third place winner Zahraa Hamadi

Third place winner with her painting

Group photo of all participants

Group picture of the winners and the contest sponsors

AUK participants with President Nizar and Dean Awwad

President Nizar receiving award from Mr. Sherif Omara, CEO of Argana Resorts & Hotels

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 19th February 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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