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Letter from the Editors

When we think about gender in contemporary times, it’s common to associate it with the multitude of mired and emotionally charged narratives scattered around online communities. Asrar’s 2023 issue presents a more thoughtful exploration of gender, one that the American University of Sharjah’s students crafted to express their complex relationships with gender through photography, research papers, and literary analysis. 


The essays and visual artworks showcased in the section “Featured Pieces: Gender” engage in a compelling conversation regarding the constraints imposed by societal norms on individuals. This conversation underscores the need for freedom and individuality as a means for the oppressed to resist their oppression. 


Students have also written remarkable research papers, engaging poetry, and creative non-fiction extending beyond the theme of gender. Whether or not you are familiar with the topics being addressed in the section “Academic and Creative Writing,” you will definitely find a text that will resonate with you. The 2023 issue concludes with a section on “Visual and Multimodal Works” that demonstrates both creativity and scholarly exploration, transcending the limitations of written text.


We thank and appreciate all the writers and photographers who have submitted their work to Asrar; it was a pleasure to dive into the creativity of the students among us. 


This issue includes explorations of James Joyce’s short story “Eveline,” Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of A Doll’s House, and a close reading of Langston Hughes’ poem “Let America Be America Again.” These are just a few examples of the diverse selection of texts that await you in this issue. Asrar provides university students with an opportunity to present their work to the broader community, and we hope that you feel as enlightened as we do reading these works.


Dana Alrowaih 

Ghofrane Lahib

Huda Imran 

Jahnavi Dangeti

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