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Texas A&M University at Qatar publishes 10th anniversary edition of student writing anthology

Published Nov 28, 2023

Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, has published the tenth anniversary edition of Best Writing, which showcases the writing talents of the branch campus’s engineering students. The theme for the 2023 edition is Enduring Legacies and Bold Futures.

The book features the writings of Texas A&M at Qatar students, staff and faculty in a variety of genres, from poetry, short stories and personal essays to technical papers and research reports.

During the book launch, several student authors read selections from their published pieces. A unique 3D printed time capsule containing photos and ‘notes to the future’ was also put together to mark the 10th anniversary of the book. The capsule was 3D printed on campus at Texas A&M at Qatar.

Shaikha Mohamed Al-Burshaid, a chemical engineering senior, wrote an essay titled, ‘When the Eyes Speak’, where she shares thoughts on her relationship with her grandparents. She said, “Since I really missed my grandparents, I wrote this essay to express how I felt about life after them. This work is unforgettable and contains a lot of hidden memories.”

Alah Abdulkareem Ibrahim Omar, a computer engineering student at Hamad Bin Khalifa University cross-registered at Texas A&M at Qatar, wrote ‘Why Me’, to explore life’s challenges. “This poem encourages the reader to reflect on both joyful and trying moments. Through questions and vivid imagery, "Why Me?" delves into life's mysteries, urging them to ponder the reasons behind joy and adversity and to seek answers to life's unanswerable questions.

Electrical engineering sophomore Siddhant Rao shared a haiku titled ‘Music’ that he had written. He said, “The poem describes the feeling felt by humans when music is played. The sudden rush of emotions passes through all the listeners at once, connecting one piece of music to everyone around.”

Abdullah Almarri’s picture of the Qatar National Museum was chosen as the cover of the book.

Congratulating the team behind Best Writing, Dr. Ioannis Economou, Executive Associate Dean at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “For the past 10 years, Best Writing has proven that there’s more to engineers than just science and math. There’s creativity, innovation, and passion. Engineering leaders think critically, write clearly, and speak confidently, and Best Writing promotes and celebrates all of these attributes. Through our writing classes, the STEAM Initiative, our Writing Center, and more, our students learn to write while writing to learn so that graduates can discuss complex topics with confidence in multilingual, multicultural workplaces.”

For co-editors Dr. Mary Queen and Olena Snitko, Best Writing is the result of a collaborative effort to create a community of writers and readers at Texas A&M at Qatar, one that transcends disciplines and positions to showcase writing and reading as central activities in developing a holistic engineering education.

“Behind each writing, there is a personality with emotions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas,” said Olena. “It is always interesting to find out about certain aspects of a student’s character, or their hobbies and interests, or their backgrounds by reading their pieces. Writing reveals their passion, dreams, and values.”

Queen said, “We dedicate this anthology to those “poet-engineers,” as well as staff and faculty whose dreams, commitment, and sheer determination have built a singular Aggie legacy at Texas A&M University in Qatar, one firmly grounded in core Qatari and Aggie values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and selfless service. These shared values provide an unshakeable foundation on which students, staff, and faculty can envision a bold future.”