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The Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival to Showcase Refugee Films

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In seeking to raise understanding and awareness of the refugee crisis, the sixth edition of Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF 2018) organized by FUNN Establishment – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children, has selected thirteen short films that can inspire and provoke people to act, and establish an understanding of what its like to be forced to leave homes and countries, with no where to go.

Beginning from 14th October until 19th October, the festival audiences can anticipate films that seek to bridge the understanding of displacement crisis. Featuring a variety of issues, SICFF has taken a significant stride in establishing a platform to propel change. Several films are supported by UNHCR such as: The Dream Diaries; Syria: A Young Girl Scarred by War; Ethiopia: Nyahok’s Quest; Lebanon: Little Omar Flies of Finland; RefuSHE Kenya’s Safe house; Sudanese Refugee girl chases education dream in Egypt; Deaf Refugee boys discover new world of sound; and Refugee Taekwando. Two films are supported by Lebanese Beyond Association: Potato Girls & Fatima’s Journey. The film titled, ‘Safa’ was supported by UNICEF and ‘Prejudgement’ was supported by FUNN in collaboration with Diaa Mala’eb.

‘The Dream Diaries’ is a collaborative endeavour between UNHCR, Humans of Amsterdam, and Fetching Tigers to create a space where refugees and asylum-seeking children can tell their stories. Tales of refugees from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland are filled with hopes, dreams, and ambitions. It’s art, with grit and authenticity.

The next film titled, ‘A young girl scarred by war’, talks about an eight-year old Wafaa who was severely burned and scarred when a gas cylinder blasted next to her. She currently lives in a temporary shelter for displaced Syrians on the outskirts of Aleppo. The plight of young women is a recurring theme, as the third film, ‘Nyahok’s quest’ narrates a story of ambition and resilience in the midst of crisis. A 16-year-old Nyahok has a dream to be a pilot but how will she get an education to make her dreams come true?

Other entrants in the SICFF includes a story of Omar and his sister Majid who were born in Syria with a growth-hormone deficiency and neither can grow without continuous treatment, which was available for free back home. Since displacement, they haven’t been able to afford the treatment in Lebanon and neither have NGOs and aid organizations. The film is titled: “Lebanon: Little Omar Flies to Finland,” which offers some hope.

“RefuSHE Kenya’s Safe House” is a short life-affirming documentary that follows resilient young female refugees who have the courage to strut proudly down a runway ramp in the face of their troubles. This film features Angelina Jolie, who is UNHCR’s special envoy.

Joining the list of screenings, an informative titled film, ‘Sudanese refugee girl chases education dream in Egypt,’ records the remarkable tale of Nousa whose ambition was to secure an education for herself and pave a future for her family. Another tale documents Mohamed and Issam, Syrian refugee brothers, who have been deaf since birth, but a viral video propelled their case to the spotlight which led to Kuwaiti Red Crescent to fund a life-changing operation. ‘Deaf refugee boys discover a new world of sound,’ the aptly titled film promises.

The next film ‘Refugee Taekwondo,’ documents an initiative launched by UNHCR and the World Taekwondo Federation where two Syrian sisters, Rayan and Zeinab are learning to defend themselves and build confidence in Jordan’s Azraq Refugee camp. ‘Farah,’ is a short documentary by the Road Media team who introduces the audience to a little girl full of joy and talent, directed by Syrian Refugee, Qassim Al Shameh.

The next entry tells the story of Khadija, a 10-year old refugee, who battles a life-threatening diabetes that was brought upon by chronic PTSD from the experience in Syria’s civil war, and her best friend Rana, who works full-time in Lebanon’s potato fields to feed their families. The film titled, ‘Potato Girls,’ documents their determination in attending school even after an 8-hour shift at work.

The film ‘Fatima’s Journey,’ tells a harrowing story of a twelve-year old girl who tries to rebuild her life after an escape from the Syrian war. Fatima illustrates the bond of family as a key element in holding millions of shattered lives together, including her dream of pursuing an education in music.

The last two stories showcase the plight of young children. Six years ago, a young girl was uprooted with her entire family from Syria and sought a refugee camp in Kurdistan where they were cramped in a canvas tent and prospects of returning home looked dim. The film, ‘Safa,’ tells the tale of her plight six years later. Titled ‘Prejudgement,’ the last film is the proclamation of injustice that occurs against refugee children. Yazan lives in Lebanon and goes to school with his Lebanese and Palestinian friends when one day his friends discover that he is a Syrian. What happens next is documented in this film.

All the mentioned films will be screened at Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre and Zero 6 Mall, Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Zora and Last Exit in Al Khawaneej, Dubai. More information regarding the date and time are available on the website, www.sicff.ae as well as on social media platforms through hashtag #SICFF18.

The FUNN Establishment aims to nurture future generations of creative artists in media and film and promote new works made by the UAE’s young filmmakers at international film festivals and workshops worldwide. Its larger goal is to foster talent through events locally and internationally and to form a close-knit network of talented young people who can share experiences and expertise on a global scale.

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QuakeCon 2021: Streaming Schedule Released, Giveaways Announced and More

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We’re a few days away from the kickoff of QuakeCon at Home, the global online event that will bring the fun and comradery of QuakeCon to your home. QuakeCon will be celebrated with live streams featuring updates on existing and upcoming games, tournaments, charity fundraising, puppies (!!!), musical performances, giveaways, celebrity streams, developer panels, and more.

The fun kicks off with a brief Welcome Message at 2 p.m. ET on August 19 followed immediately by fan-focused panels.

Day 1 will feature a series of signature panels with Bethesda developers discussing what’s new, what’s upcoming, and looking back at some of the biggest games for their anniversaries, Quake and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Day 2 and Day 3 will feature a variety of fun panels from around the world with charities, community, guest stars, and more as we celebrate the games and activities that make QuakeCon, QuakeCon.

Streaming Schedule
More details about each of the panels, including full panel descriptions, can be found online at https://quakecon.bethesda.net/en/schedule/

Thursday, Aug 19

  • Welcome to QuakeCon 2021 with Pete Hines & Erin Losi: 2 p.m. ET
  • Celebrating 25 Years of Quake with id Software and Machine Games: 2:05 p.m. ET – Kevin Cloud and Marty Stratton from id Software and Jerk Gustafsson from MachineGames discuss the impact and legacy of the original Quake on its 25th anniversary.
  • Deep Dive into DEATHLOOP with Arkane Lyon: 2:30 p.m. ET – Arkane Lyon gets fans … looped in … on the details of the upcoming PlayStation 5 console exclusive DEATHLOOP, including a special discussion about multiplayer.
  • Fallout 76: Making Appalachia Your Own with Fallout Worlds: 3 p.m. ET – Join members of the Fallout 76 development team as they discuss how the game is evolving and take an in-depth look at our upcoming Fallout Worlds Update.
  • Inside the Award-Winning The Elder Scrolls Online with ZeniMax Online Studios: 3:30 p.m. ET – Matt Firor and Rich Lambert take fans inside ESO and discuss the great additions to the game and what new players can expect from the award-winning MMO.
  • Reliving the Opening of Skyrim with the Creators from BGS: 4 p.m. ET – Hey you! You’re finally awake. Celebrate Skyrim’s 10th Anniversary and watch the opening moments of Skyrim as the creators discuss insider stories and relive memories from development.
  • DOOM Eternal Studio Update with Marty and Hugo: 4:30 p.m. ET – id Software’s Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin bring fans up-to-date on everything happening with DOOM Eternal.
  • ANZ – Fallout 76 End-Game Guide: 11 p.m. ET
  • ANZ – Fallout 76 – Playing with UFC Middleweight Rob Whittaker: 12:30 a.m. ET

Friday, Aug 20

  • UK – Fallout 76 – UK Stream Team Build-a-Thon: 9:30 a.m. ET
  • UK – Let’s Talk Quake with Digital Foundry: 10:45 a.m. ET
  • DEATHLOOP Meets its Makers: 2:15 p.m. ET
  • WeRateDog’s Matt Nelson and Pete Hines Rate Dogs & More: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Code Orange vs Quake Music Video Debut: 4:15 p.m. ET
  • Alienware – Fundraising and Raising Heck with Anna Maree: 5 p.m. ET
  • The Elder Scrolls Online – Dungeon Speed Run Competition: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Exclusive Musical Performance by Trivium: 8 p.m. ET
  • Skyrim – 10th Anniversary Interactive Fun Run with Gus Johnson: 9:00 p.m. ET
  • ANZ – The Elder Scrolls Online – Mates of Oblivion Dungeon Runs: 12:30 a.m. ET
  • ANZ – The Elder Scrolls Online – MissMollyMakes An Epic Banquet: 1:45 a.m. ET

Saturday, Aug 21

  • UK – DOOM Eternal – ‘Prayer vs Slayer’: 9:30 a.m. ET
  • UK – ESO – Through Flames of Ambition with the UK Stream Team: 10:45 a.m. ET
  • DOOM Eternal BATTLEMODE Community Bonanza!: 2:15 p.m. ET
  • Fallout 76 – C.A.M.P. Love It or Nuke It: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Quake World Championship Grand Finals: 4:45 p.m. ET
  • The Elder Scrolls Online – Live Art Creation: 6:30 p.m. ET

Charity Initiatives
QuakeCon’s charitable legacy is being carried forward this year as well, in both a global and local way. QuakeCon viewers will be able to join us in donating to organizations directly from the official QuakeCon stream, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)NAACP Legal Defense and Educational FundThe Trevor Project, and UNICEF.

QuakeCon also has the new and exclusive “Pugcubus” and “Catloop” apparel for sale. Custom Ink will split all profits from the sale of these shirts between our long-time Dallas animal adoption partner, Dallas Pets Alive, as well as FOUR PAWS, a global animal welfare organization. You can purchase these items here: https://www.customink.com/fundraising/quakecon

Free In-Game Goodies!

  • DOOM Eternal QuakeCon Slayer Skin – DOOM Eternal players can access a free in-game QuakeCon Slayer Skin, icon, and player badge across all platforms. Available from August 19 – September 2.
  • Fans who have their ESO and Twitch accounts linked through account.elderscrollsonline.com and watch for the minimum required time (15 minutes) during any of the ESO streams will receive a Twitch Drop containing one Ouroboros Crown Crate and one Flame Atronach Pack Wolf pet.
  • Log in to Quake Champions during QuakeCon and receive this year’s exclusive QuakeCon 2021 Gauntlet weapon skin, profile icon, and nameplate! Available until August 23.

QuakeCon Sale

Check out the QuakeCon 2021 Bethesda Sale across digital storefronts featuring massive deals on select Bethesda games, including 67% off Fallout 76, 75% off DOOM Eternal Deluxe Edition, 85% off Dishonored: Death of the Outsider – Deluxe Bundle, and more. These sales are live right now.

Official QuakeCon Twitch Team

Playing and sharing games with friends in the BYOC is the core of QuakeCon, and this year the global QuakeCon community will once again unite and connect through the official QuakeCon Twitch Team. The Team will celebrate QuakeCon, play and share games, and help raise money for the QuakeCon-supported charities. Some players will be featured on the QuakeCon Twitch Team page.

QuakeCon Giveaways on Fun from Partners

QuakeCon’s amazing partners have put together some awesome giveaways for fans who tune into our streams and interact with us on Twitter at @QuakeCon and @Bethesda. Check out just a few of those giveaways to look out for over the course of the event below and stay tuned to learn how to win them!

  • Pecos Pete has their traditional branded QuakeCon mugs for sale
  • Alienware will be giving away a curved 360Hz Monitor on Anna Maree’s Fundraising and Raising Heck stream
  • Razer Prize packages – Fans will have three chances to win each day while watching on Twitch
    • Razer Huntsman Mini Gaming Keyboard with Clicky Optical Switch
    • Razer Viper Ultimate Gaming Mouse with Charging Dock
    • Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Headset
    • Razer Gigantus V2 Mouse Mat
    • Razer Base Station V2 Chroma Headset Stand USB Hub
    • Razer Sneki Sneki Plushie
  • Fractal Design: Custom QuakeCon Torrent Black Light Tint TG PC Cases
  • DOOM and Fallout-themed gaming chairs from noblechairs
  • Custom Skyrim SteelSeries Headset and Mousepad as well as a Custom Skyrim Constellation Keyboard by Keycult
  • Quake: Ranger Master Art Print from Gaming Heads
  • NZXT will give away a full Custom Quakecon PC build on their social channels
  • SteelSeries Clip Competition
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Power League Gaming to Host Razer’s Tournament Series in the Middle East

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Power League Gaming (PLG) has announced that it has been awarded the contract by Razer to launch its Razer Invitational tournament series for the first time in the MENA region. Another major client win for PLG in 2021, the contract with Razer will see PLG manage the entire tournament from planning to inception, covering seven countries in the MENA region that include; KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Egypt.

Running until 2nd September 2021, the tournament series includes four of the biggest games in the market and have been expertly selected by PLG to attract the Arabic gaming audience and include; Call of Duty Black Ops, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, and Valorant, with a prize pool of $50,000 at play for the series.

Matthew Pickering, CEO of Power League Gaming said, “We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership with Razer, one of the most influential and progressive brands in the global gaming space. PLG has invested heavily in infrastructure and systems to create world-class production formats for eSports and content creation. We look forward to launching the inaugural MENA Razer Invitational providing credible and exciting experiences to the highly valued and engaged Arabic gaming audience.”

Offering 360-degree project management, PLG will handle the entire planning and production of the tournament, as well as the commentating, at its fully-equipped 10,000 square foot production studio in Dubai. PLG is also in charge of influencer relations for the project, working with leading Arab gaming influencers such as Gamer Snack and Opiilz, as well as social media management, asset production, and the running of the online campaign.

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Toshiba and Kioxia to Present HACKcellence Fest in Association with Middlesex University Dubai

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Toshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) have announced the first of its kind HACKcellence Fest, enhanced by Middlesex University Dubai and conceptualised and engineered end to end by ISD Global Dubai. Where students from the Middle East, Levant, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent are encouraged to Dream and Dare in a first-of-its-kind Hack Festival that has been established to discover solutions that can solve the real-life problems of the day.

“The incredible potential that lies kinetic within the student community around the region is beyond doubt. In the context of age,10 is indeed the new 20, and 20 is the new 40. That has been established beyond doubt. To facilitate and harness such vast potential within the student community, Toshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) are pioneering a first of its kind HACKcellence Fest in association with Middlesex University Dubai, and branding agency ISD Global, where students are encouraged and mentored to find hacks and solutions that will solve real-life problems that humanity is grappling with. Hackathons are happening all over and all the time,” explained avered Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE.

“Our endeavor (and the notable distinction) with the HACKcellence Fest is to ensure that game-changing hacks and ideas find appropriate competent suitors, get the encouragement and the mentoring/guidance, the financial and management wherewithal to bring their solutions to the real world. In that respect, the HACKcellence Fest is an end-to-end platform that begins with the generation of a stack of hacks or ideas and finds them getting their due place and recognition in the market/s that need them,” Varghese added.

The HACKcellence Fest is open to school pupils from Grade 8 and above and students from Colleges and Universities across 26 countries. Participating teams are being encouraged to think big and use their creativity when coming up with their hacks and ideas, with suggested focus areas including but not limited to Data Storage and Privacy, Robotics and AI, Edge Computing and IOT, Digital Health, Digital Humanism, Sustainability and Infrastructure, Smart Cities, Transport and Mobility, and Education.

“What makes this initiative unique is the fact that students are not limited by the guidelines we have put in place, but encouraged to break them and think beyond. We believe that challenges come with opportunities, and the HACKcellence Fest is a fantastic opportunity for students to make an impact and find solutions to the major issues affecting the global community,” added said Dr. Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai.

“We are providing participants with an open platform to submit ideas inspired by any topic that interests them. We are looking for their wildest, brightest hacks. As a leading UK university in Dubai at the cutting edge of future-forward education, we at Middlesex University Dubai are best placed to unlock the skills, ideas, and innate ability that the region’s student community can offer the world. As proud partners with Toshiba and Kioxia and ISD Global, we look forward to launching the HACKcellence Fest and provide students with this platform to make their ideas a reality,” Dr. Fernandes explained.

Submissions for hacks and ideas are open until mid-July 2021, after which a panel of jury will shortlist candidates to progress through to the next stage. Those who make it through will gain access to exclusive personalised mentoring sessions and workshops over an 8-week period that will provide them with expert guidance as they bring their idea to fruition. “At Toshiba, we turn on the promise of a new day. Guided by the essence of Toshiba, we harness our knowledge and experience in the areas of energy, social infrastructure, electronics devices, and digital solutions to help communities thrive. We achieve our common purpose together but each in our own different ways,” said Varghese.

“At ISD Global we always walk the walk on the power of cooperative marketing and the collaborative advantage energy that it releases for all stakeholders involved. As brand builders and new business and market enablers working with top-of-the-line brands across 4 continents over the past almost two decades, the ethos we practice at ISD Global is that of being counterintuitive and disintermediating,” Suresh Dinakaran, Chief Storyteller, ISD Global Dubai. “Our idea with the HACKcellence Fest is to unleash a committed, purpose-filled visionary foray into the ecosphere and to establish a Davos for the student universe in the Middle East, the Levant, Indian Subcontinent, and all of Africa, a virtual meeting of young, bright minds coming together to discover tangible solutions to solve real-life problems.”

The HACKcellence Fest will have its grand finale in the form of an Awards Ceremony in Dubai in October 2021. Students are competing to win a range of exciting awards, including cash prizes of more than $10,000, University Scholarships, Entrepreneurship Training, Start-Up Mentoring, Data Storage and Incubation Facilitation, Electronic Gadgets, and much more.

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