21 August 2017

Alumna’s Work Honored by European Commission at Ars Electronica Festival

Congratulations to VCUarts Qatar alumna Hadeer Omar who has been given an Honorary Mention by the European Commission at the STARTS Prize competition (Science, Technology and ARTS (STARTS for short)) at the Ars Electronica Festival for her “3arabizi Keyboard", which will also be on display at the festival from September 7-11, 2017.

STARTS is the grand prize of the European Commission that honors innovation in technology, industry and society stimulated by the arts. The exhibition takes place in Linz, Austria from September 7-11, 2017, at the Ars Electronica Festival. 

Hadeer (right) designed "3arabizi Keyboard" which uses a system of numerals developed by Arabic culture. It enhances it with hand motions to enable users to write in 3arabizi, a language invented by Arabs as a means of expressing Arabic sentences, with an English keyboard despite its lack of certain letters. 

The jury said that was “impressed by its unique message that technology could empower diversity and ethnicity."

It went on to say that, "Instead of pushing the global standard, it reminds us of the importance to observe how local people interact and design services that will allow for differences in each region, country, and culture. It would benefit many to further develop these kinds of ideas that promote respect and the recognition of diversity while opening up venues for new hybrid communication systems (to emerge).”

Hadeer is a visual communicator, independent filmmaker, and an entrepreneur with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Design Studies from VCUarts Qatar. She is also a full time Teaching Assistant in our Art Foundation department. 

Hadeer’s “3arabizi Keyboard” will be on display at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria from September 7-11. 

More information about the event can be found at this link: https://starts-prize.aec.at/en/

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