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  • Name: Ayah Abdul-Rauf

    Recipient Year: 2021

    Bio: Ayah Abdul-Rauf was studying at a rural university when she had a fateful encounter that persuaded her to transfer to a fine arts school As part of her admissions portfolio, she wrote, produced and edited a 3 minute film called novelist (2013) which became part of a larger body of her work on YouTube. She majored in Filmmaking and Creative Writing at KCAI. As an undergraduate, she made several documentary style shorts and a feature about fictional characters who are self-aware. She also worked on a documentary about interfaith collaborations called Beyond Belief (2016), which was nominated for a regional Emmy in 2017. Her film "Real Boy: an allegory" (2017), was also recognized at multiple festivals that year, despite its aberrant runtime. Since then Ayah has published numerous short stories and a novel. She has made several appearances at conferences, campuses and on radio to talk about metafiction. She's currently pursuing her MFA in Screenwriting at USC.

    School Name: University of Southern California

    Sponsor: Makhraj Endowment Fund Scholarship