Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1297, (26 May - 1 June 2016)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1297, (26 May - 1 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

The ‘Storytellers’ debut

In Alexandria, 35 students have become the first to graduate from the College of Language and Communication, reports Ameera Fouad

Al-Ahram Weekly

The College of Language and Communication (CLC) in Alexandria has celebrated the graduation of its first batch of students.

In the presence of Dr Ismail Abdel-Ghafar, president of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), and Dr Abeer Refki, dean of CLC, as well as journalists and public figures across Egypt, the graduates amazed the audience with a dazzling performance that proved that Alexandria is launching its own media language.

Although most people think that 21-year-old students are too young to accomplish anything, the CLC seniors proved the opposite. They proved to both their professors and their parents that they are capable of breaking new ground. On Thursday 19 May the skies clapped and the blue sea applauded as the students recounted their graduation projects under the theme of “Storytellers”, at the site of the citadel of Qaitbey.

Four themes constituted the projects: materialism, alienation, beauty and superstition. Depicting the themes in Egyptian society was a reflection of how such concepts affect daily life. The students displayed the themes in a multimedia presentation using a TV series and programmes, advertisement techniques, documentaries, short films and newspapers.

“They simply turned these themes into media in action,” said Rana Khaled, teacher assistant at CLC and a staff coordinator. “The happiness of the staffmembers can’t be measured. These young souls proved that the last four years of hard work, dedication and innovation are now paying off.”

Said Khaled, “Short movies, documentaries, newspapers, TV series, TV programmes and even advertisements are the outcome of these projects. The students’ prospects are very bright. Some want to be poets, writers, simultaneous translators, journalists, directors, TV agents, social media makers and photographers.”

The graduation projects were not only media-oriented but included translation. “One of the projects was translating chapters of literary works, as well as movies accompanied by subtitles,” said student Noha Ragab.

“When I joined AASTMT in 2012, I didn’t know a college of language and communication was opening. Once I knew I joined immediately because it is the first time a college merges language and media studies in Alexandria.”

She continued, “Though I chose my major as language and not media, I studied linguistics, literature and media. I think my university life was garlanded with the best education that could be given, with practical and theoretical experiences. We were offered summer training in a number of important institutions in Alexandria and Cairo. Also, many took courses in Spain where there is a joint degree programme with Auntomona University of Barcelona.”

How did they journey begin? “From 2004 until 2011, the idea of having a college of humanities was not received with much enthusiasm because all AASTMT colleges were synonymous with technology, one way or another. However, our dream began to be realised in 2011 when Dr Ismail became president of the academy. September 2012 witnessed our very first CLC semester,” Refki said.

“The goal was to integrate media studies and language. It was exemplified in all the courses we gave in order to have future leaders who are fluent in many languages and are able to communicate accurately, ethically and professionally.

“I also believe that the Alexandria media and cultural map will definitely change with such students paving their way to a media and translation career. I could see them establishing their own media institutions — newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, TV channels, translation offices, etc.

“Today, I was very proud of their impressive performance and with many media makers such as Omar Abdel- Aziz, Hani Lasheen and Batool Arafa who expressed their great admiration. They loved the recitals of the Arabic and English poems, the documentaries, the media reportage and the display that included newspapers, translated books, and photography.

“In my view, I believe that all the projects were effectively produced and the students succeeded in translating theoretical studies into a practical, astonishing show. They made use of the languages they learned during their four years, such as Spanish and French and were able to communicate fluently,” Refki told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Accompanied by a team of top professors from Alexandria in the majors of media and translation, the students sent the audience into rapturous applause. CLC vice deans Drs Amira Ehsan and Iman Mahfouz were the real behind-the-scenes champions of the ceremony. They lauded the academic staff for their heartfelt devotion and loyalty to the university, and for providing the tranquillity needed for the students to dive into their studies with passion.

“Plateau Shereen” was among the outstanding performances of the day, depicting materialism in Egypt at its worst, including the excessive money spent on weddings and shopping mall mania. Shereen Nagi, presenter of the TV show “Plateau Shereen”, is a fourth-year media major in CLC. Along with her team, she portrayed the theme of how materialism plays a central role in all our lives.

“I am very proud to be among such influential students and such an incredible staff who unbelievably made a miracle in four years,” Ismail said. “This is the very first class to graduate from CLC and I cannot tell you how happy I am to see the fruits of our labour.

“The projects are really exceptional as they tackle our main societal problems from different angles,” Ismail said. “The graduates not only receive an authorised certificate from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities but also get a joint degree certificate from Spain’s second-largest university in media studies, Autonoma University of Barcelona.”

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