x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Big day for young local media leaders

Thirty-five Emirati students graduated last night from the Young Media Leaders course, aimed at nurturing local talent as the capital positions itself as a centre of global media.

Sheikh Sultan Sooud al Qassemi presents Al Anoud al Shaibani of UAE University with a graduation certificate while Hoda Al Khamiss Kanoo looks on.
Sheikh Sultan Sooud al Qassemi presents Al Anoud al Shaibani of UAE University with a graduation certificate while Hoda Al Khamiss Kanoo looks on.

ABU DHABI // Thirty-five Emirati students graduated last night from the Young Media Leaders course, aimed at nurturing local talent as the capital positions itself as a centre of global media. Over the past year the students, selected from media courses at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Women's College, Abu Dhabi Men's College and UAE University in Al Ain, received training in website design, photography, writing, video journalism and television production to prepare them for their careers.

The students said they emerged more confident in their abilities and more determined to succeed following the course by, which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and run by twofour54's training academy Tadreeb. "There are very few Emiratis in the media in the UAE and I want to be one of them. I want to represent my country and I want to show my family I can do it. This programme was a chance for me to fulfill my ambitions," said Klaitham al Darmaki, 23, from UAE University, who said her family were not enthusiastic about her working in the media.

At the graduation ceremony at Yas Hotel, Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a columnist with The National, told the students that the pen can make a difference. "The most powerful message is combating stereotypes," he said. "The best way to do this is through the media. It is our duty as Emiratis to put the best image forward of Abu Dhabi, of our culture and of our region." The course, which has run for three years, is the students' first step to becoming "tomorrow's media professionals", added Hoda al Khamis Kanoo, the founder of the ADMAF. "They are now able to tell the story of their nation in their own words."

aseaman@thenational.ae