American University of Sharjah (AUS) held its annual Awareness Day held to spread awareness of health, social, safety and environmental issues among students and the public. The event featured participation of prominent government and private organizations.
During the event, held on Tuesday, February 26 in the AUS Student Center, students were urged to volunteer in community services to give back to their community as well as to help improve their future career.
"Community work has been recognized globally and would help students in the workplace if they had it on their resume," said Student Development and Organizations Department Director Munketh Taha.
He added that Awareness Day "opened doors" for students to join community service. He observed that the event featured representatives of associations who could provide more insight into the importance of volunteering.
Private and governmental organizations joined the event to spread awareness about health, social, safety and environmental issues. Al Sharif Eye Center and Dubai Volunteering Center were among the associations that participated for the first time.
Some of the participants also gave out practical advice for students. "We gave some information that students might have not been aware of,” said Darin Michael, head administrator and human resources manager at Al Sharif Eye Center. This included data on the safe wearing of contact lenses, the potential effects of cosmetics on the eye, and how diabetes can affect the retina.
Michael advised students to use eye drops daily and wear sunglasses, as well as to relax their eyes for at least 20 minutes while studying.
According to Taha, the Awareness Day was beneficial not only for students, but also for professors and administrators.
"I personally learned more about bad food and how meat can affect your body if it is exposed or not cooked well," said Taha.
Ali Najeeb, a visual communication senior who donated blood at the blood donation campaign, said the event made him more aware of his health.
"Besides the fact that I got the chance to help people by donating blood, I did a blood sugar checkup and found out that I am on the verge of being diabetic," said Najeeb. "Now I am aware of what I should eat and what food to avoid."
Mechanical engineering senior Nicola Sayegh, who also donated blood, noted that this year's event “was special” because it included an awareness booth specifically for safe driving.
Sayegh added that the Community Services Office should hold this event more often because "not only AUS students benefit from the wide information that is being presented, but also students from area schools who visit to participate in the event."
According to Taha, the annual event attracted around 500 AUS students and five area schools including Al Hikmah Private School and Sharjah American International School.
Article by Sherouk Zakaria. Sherouk is a journalism senior student at the American University of Sharjah.
For more information about American University of Sharjah, please visit www.aus.edu