Illustration by Sayazhan Sagynay.

Back to In Person Events

After more than one year of virtual events and talks, guest speakers and events are finally back in person in the NYUAD community.

Nov 28, 2021

On Nov. 8, the Center for Space Science hosted a special event in the Blue Hall with Emirates Mars Mission instrument science engineer Khalid Badri and University of Colorado Boulder researcher Sonal Jain. The speakers shared the exciting goals and progress of the Emirates Mars Mission “Hope Probe”. It was a great opportunity for students and other community members to get insights into the role of the UAE in the global science and space research community.
On Nov. 10, another event took place in the Art Center — a conversation with Dr. Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Azour delivered an insightful talk on the role of youth in the MENA region, focusing on recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. There was a full house, with students, faculty and other community members excited to be in the Red Theatre after a long time.
Sean Shan, Class of 2023, who attended both of the in person talks, told The Gazelle that he loved the long-lost feeling of in person guest speakers. “I mean, online lectures during Covid-19 were good as I could overcome the geographical barriers and listen to lectures worldwide, but I prefer the in person mode. It’s less impersonal, and I can have much closer interaction with the big shots under the spotlight. In person talks give me a greater sense of participation, motivating me to concentrate my attention during the talks and do some research after. To me, attending in person talks is a vivid part of college life.”
Besides the guest speakers, we also had exciting in person art events in the past weeks. On Nov. 17, the NYUAD tradition — Rooftop Rhythms — had its first in person comeback at the Louvre. Mary Collins, Class of 2022, one of the wonderful performers, shared her thoughts with us after the event: “I’ve done a lot of online performances during the pandemic, and while I think that can be a special and effective way of presenting art, I’ve been really missing that in person audience connection — I never really have a sense of how many people I’m connecting with or how they’re reacting when I perform online. This wasn’t my first live performance since the pandemic, because I was able to do a few small concerts this past summer back in [my] hometown, Ann Arbor. But it was definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played for since before lockdown.”
“I’ve performed at Rooftop Rhythms before back when it was in the Marketplace, and that always had a smaller, more intimate feeling, so I think I was for some reason expecting that vibe at the Louvre. The audience was way bigger than I expected, though, which was amazing! When you perform for an audience that big the connection feels different—in some ways you’re farther away from them, but when you’re able to catch the whole crowd’s attention and have them really there in that moment with you, that’s an incredible feeling. I’m not sure if I did that at the performance on Wednesday. Performing in front of people is something you have to practice to get better at, just like an instrument, and I’m out of practice after all these months! I’m very eager to perform at more live events now. I have tons of songs I’ve written during the pandemic that I haven’t been able to share on many platforms yet,” said Collins.
Other in person art events also made their way back to campus, including Hekayah | The Story, Open Mics and Afro Fest. As Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann had said in her opening remarks at the IMF event, “In the past days and weeks, it gets a little bit more true every day that our campus is back to life.”
Sophia Lin is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
gazelle logo