Quarterly Newsletter - November 2008 - Volume 10 - Issue 1
Sharjah Ruler appreciates
AUS development plans
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan During his visit to campus His
Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Highness also met with more
Supreme Council Member and than 300 faculty members
Ruler of Sharjah, expressed from the College of Arts
his appreciation for future and Sciences, College of
development plans under Engineering, School of Business
consideration for American
and Management, and School
University of Sharjah (AUS).
Chancellor’s Column This was stated by Dr. Peter
of Architecture and Design.
The meeting was also attended
My first three months at AUS have Heath, Chancellor of AUS,
been a very exciting experience for me after a meeting chaired by the by Dr. Amr Abdel Hameed,
and for my wife, Marianne. We have Sharjah Ruler at his office on Adviser to the Ruler of Sharjah
been hospitably received by everyone on Higher Education; and
campus on October 15.
in the AUS community and have very Mr. Maroun Semaan and Mr.
much enjoyed getting to know our His Highness met with members
new colleagues and neighbors. All in
Abdul Jalil Yousuf Darwish,
of the AUS Board of Trustees’
all, our transition to campus has been members of the AUS Board
Development Committee and
wonderfully smooth. We are very of Trustees. His Highness also
thanked them for their efforts.
grateful to everyone here who has met with senior AUS officials
The meeting was held in order
helped us settle into this new, friendly including Dr. John Mosbo,
and very stimulating environment. to prepare for the university’s
next board of trustees meeting Vice Chancellor for Academic
One requirement for every leader of a in London on November 9. Affairs; Mr. Salem Al Qaseer,
university is to believe strongly in the Vice Chancellor for Public
institution’s mission. I feel particularly “On behalf of the Development
Affairs; Dr. Moza Al Shehhi,
fortunate that my own goals coincide Committee, I would like to
completely with those of AUS and Vice Chancellor for Student
thank His Highness Sheikh
with the mandate for the university Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Affairs; Mr. George DeBin,
that has been set out by its President
Qassimi for his keen interest Vice Chancellor for Finance
and Founder, His Highness Sheikh Dr. and Administration; and Mr.
in and constant support to
Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi,
the university and its future Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor
Member of the Supreme Council and
Ruler of Sharjah. endeavors,” said Chancellor for Enrollment Management,
Heath. among others.
These are trying times for higher
education in the Arab world. The
requirements for success in the modern
world continue to increase. As a
consequence, the region’s youth need
access to high-quality educational
institutions to prepare them for success
Convocation honors 249 top students
in their chosen professions. Yet, at
the same time that countries in the American University of “Our paths along this journey
region face a demographic boom and Sharjah (AUS) celebrated the toward academic excellence
a growing population of young people, achievements of 249 of its most differ. We travel along different
many countries also suffer from varied distinguished students at the roads and rely on the varied
degrees of economic stagnation. At annual Honors Convocation roadmaps of different scholarly
a time of rising need for high-quality
held October 29 on campus. methodologies and intellectual
education, many governments in the
region lack the resources and the The students honored at the traditions to meet our goals.
vision needed to fulfill the challenges ceremony were those on the But each of us—faculty
of the future. Chancellor’s Distinguished List. members, senior administrators
To qualify for this list, a student or students—represents one
The young people of the UAE are
fortunate that they live in a prosperous must have been named on both link in a long and illustrious
and economically vibrant country. Yet the Fall 2007 Dean’s List and chain of devotion to the ideals
we have seen many instances where the Spring 2008 Dean’s List and of scholarship and rational
sufficient resources do not necessarily have maintained a cumulative inquiry. So, in honoring
translate into high quality. Achieving your achievements during
GPA of 3.5 or above.
academic excellence requires a your studies at AUS, we also
combination of vision, resources, “Today marks an occasion of celebrate the ideals, aspirations
long-term commitment and the ability great pride for you assembled
to unite all concerned—faculty,
and goals that shape our
students, for your families and lives as members of the AUS
students, staff, alumni, trustees and
for this remarkable university. community, which at heart is
friends—to work in a sustained way to
attain success. AUS has enjoyed this Tonight your names will be an academic community,” he
auspicious combination of support, inscribed onto the list of those concluded.
and as a result it is widely considered who have achieved sufficient
as a leader in the region for world- academic achievement and “We are exceedingly proud
class higher education. scholarly distinction to be of the 249 students we honor
placed on the Chancellor’s List. here tonight,” said Dr. John
My goal as chancellor is to work with
all concerned to continue this success This signifies that each of the Mosbo, Vice Chancellor for
story, and to bring the university to students here has demonstrated Academic Affairs. “They have
ever-increasing levels of academic the required intellectual ability met the intellectual challenges
quality. The youth of this region and the personal qualities of and rigor of the courses they
deserve the best possible education, hard work, perseverance and completed, they have produced
and it will be my aspiration to accomplishment to attain this top-quality work and they
ensure that they find it at American
mark of recognition,” said AUS have demonstrated to the
University of Sharjah.
Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath faculty exceptional academic
Dr. Peter Heath during his convocation address. performance,” he added.
Four AUS students win Architecture and design
Sheikh Khalifa Scholarship students honored
AUS recently announced names Recent architecture graduate May Barber won the first-ever
of four outstanding students Cityscape Architecture Award for Young Architect of the Year.
who have won the prestigious She received the award for her graduation project, which was a
Sheikh Khalifa Scholarships for progressive redesign of labor camps.
2008–2009. Her research included studying existing labor camps in Al Quoz
and Sonapur. The new design addressed issues of personal
The winners are Shirin
space, organization and comfort. Barber noted that “All is done
Sheikh, School of Business
in an economical, friendly manner that satisfies our vision to
and Management; Nour
witness an aesthetically beautiful architecture of form, contrast,
Wael Merza, College of
space and harmony as well as our thirst to improve the workers’
Arts and Sciences; Hichem activities. The scholarship funds is one way to express our lives for a better tomorrow.” Developers from Saudi Arabia and
Zakaria Aichour, College come as a result of a AED Kuwait have expressed interest in implementing her design.
appreciation to the students
of Engineering; and Ahmed 10 million donation by His and award them for their hard Fifth-year architecture student Ahmed Hosny received a
Hosny, School of Architecture Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin work,” he said. third place honorable mention at the Designer’s Workstation
and Design. Zayed Al Nahyan, President of
Sheikh expressed her gratitude 2008 International Design Competition held in Portugal recently.
The scholarships, launched the UAE, to AUS during a visit
in March 2007, are awarded to the Sharjah University City for the scholarship, saying that The competition was organized by The Design Institution,
annually to juniors and seniors in 2005. she is honored to be an AUS an organization charged with the development of design
student. “To be appreciated practice, and gathering designers from all over the world. The
on the basis of academic Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of
by my college and to have the competition was focused on designing the “ideal workstation
excellence, leadership AUS, congratulated the winners
officials there bestow their for the designer of this new century.”
potential, community service, and praised them for their hard
demonstrated talent in the field work and perseverance. “You trust and confidence in me is Hosny, who is in his final year at the School of Architecture
of study, and participation in should be proud of what you overwhelming. I just to want to and Design (SA&D), received the honor from among scores of
extracurricular and university have achieved. The scholarship say thank you,” she said. international students who participated in the competition.
Third-year visual communication student Lujain Aboulfaraj
received an honorable mention in Memefest 2008: The
Athletic Faculty and Staff International Festival of Radical Communication held recently.
Aboulfaraj’s artwork was an image of the Ka’bbah. “Because
scholarships Achievements this is an international competition, and because all religions
are in favor of peace and are against all that is sinful... I
chose the picture of the Ka’bbah in Mecca. Nowadays people
awarded The doctoral dissertation of Dr. Daniel Kirk (Writing Studies;
Faculty Development Center Coordinator), entitled “Local
sometimes link Islam to terrorism, so I want to change this
picture about Islam and Muslims,” she said.
Six outstanding student-athletes Voices, Global Issues. A Comparative Study of the Perceptions
of AUS were named as the Student Teachers Hold in Relation to their Teacher Education Speaking on the competition’s theme of “Radical Beauty”
recipients of the AUS Athletic Programs in the United States of America, England, and United Aboulfaraj said, “People often relate beauty with the physical
Scholarships for Fall 2008 at a Arab Emirates,” was published by the University of Georgia in appearance. Others claim that true beauty lies inside. In
special lunch ceremony held on August. He has also authored the book chapter “Issues of Gender, my opinion, radical beauty is serene. It is a deep spiritual
campus October 14. Equality, Education, and National Development in the United connotation that is felt, not touched.”
Arab Emirates” in D. Baker and A. Wiseman (eds.), Gender,
The winners were Rola Awad, Dr. Fatih A. Rifki, Dean of SA&D, praised the students’
Equality and Education from International and Comparative
women’s volleyball; Jaidaa Adel achievements. “These accolades are a good indication of the
Perspectives (Emerald/JAI, 2008). His book chapter “Diversity,
Khouga, women’s basketball; professional studies students undertake at SA&D,” he said.
Global Practice, Local Needs: An International Comparative
Ausama Azeez, men’s soccer; Study of Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Initial Teacher
Jadallah Chehade, men’s soccer; Training in the United States, England, and United Arab
Mohamed Farouk Ismail, men’s Emirates” will be published in G. Wiggan (ed.), Global Issues in
basketball; and Ahmed Bassam
Saymeh, men’s volleyball.
Education: Pedagogy, Policy, School Practices, and the Minority
Experience, which is currently in press. Chancellor Heath meets
Kevin Mitchell (Architecture; Director of Graduate and TANMIA officials
Undergraduate Programs) placed first in the architecture category
of the International Photography Awards Photographer of the
Year competition in Los Angeles. He also received two honorable
mentions in the competition: one in the fine art/abstract category
and another in the fine art/landscape category. He was honored
for his series on industrial buildings in Sharjah.
Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah (International Studies; Assistant
to the Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs) was an
invited participant in the international conference on Middle
Presented by Dr. Moza Al East security held June 19–20 at the European Union Institute
Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Security Studies in Paris. The high-level conference brought
for Student Affairs, and Mr. together policy makers and international relations experts
Munketh Taha, Director from the Middle East, Europe and the USA to discuss the
of Student Activities, the main challenges of security in the Middle East and explore the
scholarships consist of a 50 prospects of concrete regional cooperation on these matters.
percent tuition remission and are
granted on a renewable semester Dr. Jeanine Romano (Director of Institutional Research) Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS, met with a delegation
basis. had a research paper entitled “What Are the Consequences if from TANMIA recently on campus to discuss issues of mutual
the Assumption of Independent Observations is Violated in cooperation and interest.
The scholarship program aims to
Reliability Generalization Meta-Analysis Studies?” accepted The delegation comprised senior TANMIA officials and included
encourage, improve and develop
for publication in Educational and Psychological Measurement Noora Al-Bedur, Head of the Employment and Development
sports at the university as well
(Volume 86 Number 5). Center; Ahmed Al-Ahmedi, Dubai TANMIA Office Manager;
as to support student-athletes
with limited financial resources Abdul Rahim Sultan, Employer Relations Manager; Wedad
who demonstrate athletic Kevin Sweet (Architecture) presented the paper “Binary Al-Shamlan, Training Manager; and Fatima Al-Hashmi, Employer
excellence and outstanding Translation: A Positive Feedback Loop” at the Education and Relations Manager.
sports qualities. Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe
conference in Antwerp, Belgium held September 17–20. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Salem Al Qaseer, Vice
“We are really thankful for this Chancellor for Public Affairs, AUS; Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, Dean of
scholarship as it encourages Abid Vali (Writing Studies) will present the paper “Third the AUS College of Engineering; and Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabah,
us to be involved in athletics World Writers and the Need for National Construction” at the Assistant to the Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs,
activities and to do our best to conference English & Asia: First International Conference on AUS.
win for AUS,” said Ausama Language and Linguistics at the International Islamic University TANMIA is a federal organization established for the purpose of
Azeez, a scholarship recipient. in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 24–28. developing and seeking employment for UAE nationals.
THE NEWSLETTER OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF SHARJAH November 2008 • Volume 10 • Issue 1
International experts gather
at AUS for SOMET 2008 Research Notes
AUS study finds no ozone hole in UAE’s
No ozone hole has been detected “The measurements of VOCs to as VOCs play an important
in the UAE’s upper atmosphere, provide an opportunity to study role in the chemistry and
according to an on-going study air pollution and photochemical therefore the oxidizing power
conducted by AUS faculty and smog near the ground in the of the atmosphere, which in
students in collaboration with UAE,” said Dr. Majeed. turn affects climate and air
the UAE National Center of During the campaign, the quality. A subset of VOCs
Meteorology and Seismology team simultaneously flew classified as air toxics (urban
Scores of experts, researchers and industry professionals from (NCMS) in Abu Dhabi. balloon-borne electrochemical smog) have received significant
around the world attended the Seventh International Conference
“Ozone data acquired in cell (ECC) ozonesondes to recent interest because of their
on Software Methodologies, Tools and Techniques (SOMET 2008)
October indicated that the upper create ozone profiles and potential to cause adverse
held at AUS October 15–17.
atmospheric ozone is quite collect air samples by gas environmental effects and health
The conference focused on exploring innovations, controversies abundant and no ozone hole has mass spectrometer to measure effects associated with cancer
and challenges facing the software engineering community today. been detected. The data near the VOCs. The balloon flights and risk, reproductive effects and
It aimed to bring together theory and experience, and propose and collection of air samples are
surface indicate a moderate level birth defects.
evaluate solutions to software engineering problems. The event also taking place at the NCMS-
of ozone (30 -35 ppbv), which is
provided a forum and an opportunity to assess the current state- affiliated office located at the According to Dr. Majeed, this
about 20–25 percent lower than
of-the-art technology in software engineering and to chart future Abu Dhabi International Airport. research will allow new insights
directions for the software engineering community. the values observed by the team
last year,” reported Dr. Tariq into the physical and chemical
Unnaturally high ozone
“This conference is another example of AUS showing thought Majeed, Assistant Professor of processes that take place over
levels near the surface are
leadership in information technology,” said Dr. Imran Zualkernan, Physics at AUS, who is serving UAE. He also stressed the
hazardous to human, animals
General Co-Chair of the conference and Assistant Professor of as the principle investigator of public educational value of
and plant health. Ozone is
Computer Science and Engineering at AUS. Dr. Yousuf Al-Assaf, this observation. The data is part the study in that it can create
formed photochemically in
the Dean of the College of Engineering, noted that the conference public awareness of green house
of the second phase of an AUS the troposphere from the
coincided perfectly with the launch of several research-oriented effects and global warming,
campaign of observing vertical interactions of VOCs and
master’s degree programs at AUS.
profiles of ozone and volatile oxides of nitrogen. Reactive as well as encourage among
The conference also included two free workshops. The first organic compounds (VOCs) over non-methane hydrocarbon young students interest in space
presented state-of-the-art software engineering practices in Japan. the UAE. compounds commonly referred science and aerospace research.
The second, entitled “Cyber Security against Campus Threats,”
was conducted by Hosting Data Fort, a subsidiary of TECOM
Middle East Internet users are at high risk
Engineering students of falling for phishing scams
place first in international Internet users in the Middle phishing can occur: e-mails update their records by entering
East are at high risk of falling are sent from what appears their personal details, including
competition victim to phishing scams due
to the increase in Internet
to be well-known banks or
organizations to Internet users
security access codes. The page
generally looks genuine. The
penetration in the region and asking them to update their e-mail has a FROM address
users’ lack of awareness of its information. The e-mail directs that is identical to the original
protocol, said Dr. Fadi Aloul, users to access a website, which organization address to make
Assistant Professor of Computer is a replica of the trusted site, to users believe that the e-mail is
Engineering at AUS. update their records by entering authentic. However, the FROM
their personal details, including field in an e-mail can be easily
“It is important for people to
security access codes. The page faked by a hacker and the e-mail
be aware of phishing scams
generally looks genuine. The is actually coming from the
and hackers who can easily
e-mail has a FROM address hacker’s computer.
get their personal and financial
that is identical to the original
information without the Internet There are a number of ways
organization address to make
users’ knowledge,” said Dr. Internet users can avoid fishing
users believe that the e-mail is
Aloul. scams, said Dr. Aloul. “Always
authentic. However, the FROM
type the URL or Internet address
According to the World Internet field in an e-mail can be easily
when you get any questionable
Usage Statistics News and faked by a hacker and the e-mail
e-mails and read the URL
World Populations Statistics, is actually coming from the
address completely. You will
Internet penetration in the hacker’s computer.
be able to discover whether
Middle East has grown by
“Sometimes these scams work the website is fake. If you get
21.3 percent as of June 2008,
AUS electrical engineering students Mohamed Al Hosani, Ibrahim with people who happen to an e-mail from your bank,
registering a usage growth of
Al Mansouri and Hamad Al Ghufli (pictured above) placed first have an account with that give them a call and check the
1176.8 percent in the past eight
in the IEEE Myron Zucker Industry Applications Student Design particular bank or organization. authenticity of the website URL.
Awards based in the US. These e-mails generally ask Most banks today don’t place
“Phishing” is a form of the users to click on a URL URL links in their e-mails and
The students entered their senior design project, entitled “Novel Internet fraud designed to steal or an Internet address that instead ask their customers to
Near-Field Microwave Non-Destructive Inspection of Polymer valuable information such as carries the organization’s name manually type the bank’s URL
Insulators,” which was conducted under the supervision of Dr. credit cards numbers, social to update their information. address,” he said.
Nasser Qaddoumi, Director of the Microwave Imaging and security numbers, user IDs and Once the user clicks on to the
Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory at AUS, and Dr. Ayman However, if an Internet user
passwords. According to Dr. address, he enters the bogus site.
El-Hag, Director of the Power System Laboratory at AUS. All finds that he has fallen victim
Aloul, a fake website is created When he is done putting in his
the research work was conducted in the electrical engineering to phishing, Dr. Aloul advises
to look exactly like that of a information, he is directed to the
laboratories at the College of Engineering. that he call the police and the
legitimate organization but with original website of the bank or
bank to disable his account and
The students received their awards at the 43rd Industrial Application a slightly different URL address. organization the hacker chose to
report the phishing website.
Society Annual Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, held “Many computer hackers go duplicate. The user would not
“The Middle East is still behind
October 5–9. after companies with big names, know what had hit him,” he said.
when it comes to drafting
typically a financial institution
Al Ghufli said the work was challenging. He added, “The An e-mail is then sent to various laws to protect Internet users.
such as a bank or an insurance
competition didn’t only give us the award, but we learned many Internet users requesting them to However, the UAE has issued
company,” he said.
other things, such as how to take advantage of time management, access the fake website, which a law combating cyber crime,”
communication skills, team work and perseverance.” Dr. Aloul explained how is a replica of the trusted site, to he said.
November 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 10 THE NEWSLETTER OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF SHARJAH
Club Fair Work of design students to
be published in book
The work of 10 AUS School of Architecture and Design students
will be published in the forthcoming book Design School
Confidential (Rockport Publishers) authored by Steven Heller
and Lita Talarico. The selected projects were completed in visual
communication and multimedia design studios taught two years ago
by professors Amir Berbić, Roddy Grant and Shoaib Nabi.
The objective of the project, entitled “Locale,” was to develop
strategies, processes and resultant forms that embrace a responsive
and expressive notion of what an identity could be in today’s visual
culture. In this fourth-year design studio project, students responded
to a specific outdoor site. The project began as a process of
experiencing an assigned location. Encouraged to employ a variety
of methods and media for documenting and generating form,
students were expected to both engage the site and allow the site to
More than 50 student clubs and organizations that are an integral part of student life at AUS were affect them by their participation in, or observation of, its form. The
highlighted during the AUS Club Fair held October 13–14. The fair is organized by the Office of studio critique was a visual and verbal review of their experienced
Student Affairs at the start of each semester with the aim of introducing the AUS community to the environment through image, footage, recording and found object.
student clubs and organizations.
According to Dr. Fatih Rifki, Dean of the School of Architecture and
Design, “This selection is the type of clear recognition these two
studio-based curricula have been garnering from the academic and
Students reach out through Ramadan professional circles lately, as innovative and cutting-edge teaching
and learning methods have been implemented in the Department
charity programs of Design.” He said he and the SA&D community were proud of
the accomplishments of the students and the faculty involved and
expected similar accolades to follow in the near future.
Iftar gatherings link
graduates with industries
AUS students showed a strong an annual tradition. “Holding children around the world on the
sense of community spirit the iftar reflects the true spirit occasion of Eid Al Fitr,” said
during special charity activities of giving during Ramadan. It is Mohammad Afanah, President
on campus during Ramadan. a great thing when we see our of the Palestinian Cultural Club.
students sitting next to orphans,
More than 800 people attended “The effort the students have put
the elderly and the cleaning
the AUS Charity Iftar on into the campaign helped make
staff of the university, eating
September 17, making it one it a success, and I am really
and interacting. This is what the
of the biggest charity iftars happy with the results.”
spirit of Ramadan is all about,”
the university has ever held.
she said. Red Crescent Official Ali Al
The event brought together
university students, faculty and The AUS Palestinian Cultural Hammadi said that he is glad
staff, as well as 25 orphans from Club concluded an Eid Charity with the results of the drive.
Human Appeal International Drive that collected more than “We will make sure that the Connecting AUS graduates with leaders in government and
in Ajman, 20 elderly adults Dhs 8,500 in donations and toys, clothes and money will industry was the aim of a series of iftar gatherings held by the AUS
from the Old Peoples’ Home in two tons of clothes, books, reach Palestinian orphans and Office of Development and Alumni Affairs during Ramadan.
Sharjah and the AUS cleaning toys and electronic devices.
children,” he said. According to Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Assistant to the
staff. More than 30 volunteer The campaign, which was
Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, “These leaders
students took part in organizing held for 10 days, was held In addition, the AUS Office of
are richly experienced in making the ingredients of education
the event. in collaboration with the Community Services and the work in highly competitive world markets. They direct the
Palestinian Red Crescent. Sharjah Charity Society also
Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice enterprises that solve the pressing problems of our times in
Chancellor for Student Affairs, “The campaign is meant to bring held a charity campaign on socially constructive ways. It is vital for our graduates to become
said that the iftar is has become joy and happiness to Palestinian campus during Ramadan. acquainted with them and vice versa, so as to share expertise that
may be mutually advantageous.”
The iftar and seminar series began with a gathering hosted by
Live and in concert AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath and Riad Sadek, Chairman of
Al Habtoor Leighton Group, for civil engineering alumni who
graduated from 2001 to present. The next event was an iftar dinner
hosted by Chancellor Heath and Wasfi Ataya, President and CEO
of Sun Engineering and Contracting Co. LLC, for mechanical
At the third event, Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist of the Dubai
International Financial Center, met with AUS graduates in finance
and economics. Architect Shaun Killa addressed architecture and
design alumni at another iftar.
Also present at these events were Hamid Jafar, Chairman and CEO
of Crescent Petroleum Company and member of the AUS Board of
Trustees, and a number of AUS officials.
Dr. Mortada-Sabbah stated that one of the most important functions
that a university may perform is to have its alumni who are already
working help open the door of employment for new graduates.
Lena Chamamyan, one of the Middle East’s most popular performers, entertained at a sold-out “The all-important first job will lead to a second one and so on
concert held at AUS on October 30. The concert, which was open to the public, was organized up the career ladder. Our co-hosts at the iftars networked with our
by the AUS Cultural Events Committee in cooperation with the AUS Syrian Cultural Club. alumni and university administrations… to provide insights into
To receive announcements about forthcoming cultural events at AUS, please send an e-mail to where their fields and industries are heading,” she said.
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AUSNEWS is published by the AUS Office of Public Affairs, Tel: +971 6 515 2210, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.aus.edu. THE NEWSLETTER OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF SHARJAH November 2008 • Volume 10 • Issue 1