Illustration by Joaquín Kunkel
UAE National Day
On Dec. 2, the UAE celebrated its National Day. This year commemorates the 46th year since Union Day, when all seven emirates joined together. It is one of the UAE’s biggest holidays. Celebrations in Abu Dhabi take place alongside the Corniche. Many NYU Abu Dhabi students attended the festivities this year.
National Day festivities started on Nov. 28 at NYUAD, where exhibitions on Emirati culture filled the central plaza. The event was opened with speeches by NYUAD Vice Chancellor, Al Bloom, as well as videos by NYUAD students on a big screen. There were stalls in which students could get henna tattoos or caricatures of themselves or take pictures with a camel. Additionally, there was an array of Emirati food and drinks and musical performances, traditional to the local culture.
On Dec. 5, the Arts Center will be showing Hekaya: The Story, a showcase of Emirati heritage. The show will include a combination of poetry, prose and musical performances, drawing from the diverse communities of the UAE. The performance is envisioned as a continuation of UAE National Day celebrations.
Virtual Reality Station
On Dec. 1, the Virtual Reality stations in the NYUAD Arts Center were open for Game Day at 5 p.m. They were set up to help students interested in computer programming and engineering see how VR development works. It also provided an opportunity to experience different games designed by students.
There was a long wait list at Open Studios for students to try out the VR setup this semester. Around 15 people participated in the event, but there are still many on the waitlist who have not yet had the opportunity to do so. Alia ElKattan, Class of 2020, was in charge of managing participants trying out the VR station at the Arts Center.
“I think VR is really important. I’m probably biased, but it’s a really evolving field. And this is a really great time to get involved because it still hasn’t quite made it into the mainstream. But a lot of the major companies, like Google, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung and Facebook, are investing a lot in it,” she commented.
Multi Factor Authentication Petition
A petition for New York University to remove the Multi-Factor Authentication for NYU’s internal websites was started by Masoumeh Mohamadkhani, a student at the NYU New York. The petition has received attention on Facebook, where many have expressed their discontent with the new system. MFA works as an extra layer of internet security that requires students to confirm their identities through an app on a separate device like a phone when signing into an NYU site.
“These websites are a necessity when it comes to successful completion of classwork, and this multi-factor authentication (also known as MFA) hinders many by a) assuming every student is able to own and reach a second device, b) taking up time by being a lengthy process and c) tracking the different devices students hold ownership of,” wrote Mohamadkhani on the petition page.
“It’s unnecessary, just time consuming. There should be other methods to doubling up security than implementing something like the MFA,” said Munib Mesinovic, Class of 2020.
The petition was shared on the Facebook group NYUAD Student Life. The goal is 500 signatures and so far, little over 355 people have signed it.
Argentina Mena is Deputy News Editor. Email her at [email protected]