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AWAKENING Al Nahda Toastmasters Club, Dubai Volume :1, Issue : Autumn

November 2017

A Newsletter by Al Nahda Toastmasters Club, No: 1594550, Area 31, Division I, District 105.


Club Mission We Provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills resulting in greater self confidence and personal growth.

President’s Desk It gives me immense pleasure to pen down for the first edition of Awakening for the year 2017-2018. This is our Autumn edition. For all of you who are pondering why our magazine is named Awakening, the answer is in our club name itself Al Nahda. Awakening is the English meaning for Al Nahda.

Annual Debate contest and our club members had gone in big numbers to support our club debate champions in the Division I Debate contest. We are now heading towards the main contest which will happen in the first quarter of 2018.

Toastmasters is a platform which awakens the leader in you and Al Nahda Toastmasters ensures you remain awake and don’t have a dull moment as a member. As Dr Ralph C. Smedley had said “We learn best in moments of enjoyment.” ANTC meetings always ensures that you have learning with fun. The encouraging and jovial nature of the club has been pivotal in making the club the best in terms of quality and quantity (member strength). This term we have introduced many new features such as the meeting teasers by TM Biju Nair. The Role players award for each meeting and the Toastmaster of the year for the member who has taken the maximum number roles with points varying for different roles. We also have had a new role the Chef Master in few of our meetings. We have successfully conducted our club

We have achieved the Smedley award for inducting 5 new members in August-September and the Lead and Win award. We have more to achieve and will definitely achieve them with the support and commitment of our members and the awesome Excom team. I wish all a happy Toastmasters year ahead. Happy Toast mastering.

- TM Rajan Varghese Thomas, CL

Inside this issue: A LETTER TO BOUNCY CASTLE

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HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY WITH AN IMPACT

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HOW PLAYING CHESS TEACHES LIFE SKILLS?

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MEETING POSTERS

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KATHAK

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A TRIP TO EYGPT

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SCAR ON MY BACK

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WHY DO WE NEED TO GO ON VACATION?

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BEAUTIFUL CLICKS

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MOMENTS CAPTURED

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CREDITS Editor : TM Roger Field Sub Editor : TM Shiny Jacob Cover Design and Formatting : TM Rajan Varghese Thomas

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A LETTER TO BOUNCY CASTLE Dear Bouncy Castle, I know you love children. You engulf them, like how a mother cuddles her baby. The roars of laughter that echo inside you, Makes you stand with pride. Those jumps and falls of the little ones, An aura of gaiety, a bliss. After all, There is no one like you. Looking at you, as an Adult, evokes nostalgia in me. You stand alone, awaiting, like an old parent, waiting for their child’s return. I’m sorry, that children pass by you with Candy Crush as their favorite. They do not know what they are missing. After all, They don’t know, there is no one like you.

- TM Riola Tauro

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A W A K E NI N G


HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY WITH AN IMPACT (P1 toastmasters, the icebreaker)

The first step is always the most difficult and full of doubt, when starting a new journey. When I had to prepare my icebreaker speech I spent a lot of time researching on the internet. I watched ted talks and read blogs, and tips and tricks on how to tell ones story. It paid off well as I aced my speech and was voted as the best speaker that evening.

This is not me

The tips and tricks I learnt from the research have helped me since then in all forums where we’re required to introduce ourselves. Be it at a new workplace, a training session or just a friendly gathering with new people. Here’s a summary of all that I learnt and a review of what worked well and what did not.

The opening created an air of ease; people laughed and at the same time were intrigued. The effort to try an mesmerize them towards fantasy and then suddenly shake them out of it worked well

There are basically two aspects of a good speech

The one thing that you need to make sure people don’t forget once you leave the stage is your name. Spend a good 10 seconds on your name. Highlight an interesting aspect. So people remember.

The script And the actual performance

It’s how I imagined myself at the age of 24. But, this is not me and ,I am going to tell you why. Fellow toastmasters, Allow me, I present you my life”

THE NAME

THE SCRIPT

Here’s an excerpt from my toastmasters speech.

OPENING

“My name is Sameen. That’s S-A-M-E-E-N. Make

Make an energetic entrance. They say the first impression is the last impression. You could open the speech with a quote, a story, an intriguing question or anything that would bring the audience’s attention towards you. Though you can start with addressing the contest chair or the audience directly, it is recommended to first say a few words to make an impression.

sure you do not say it with a SSS. It’s a Sameen.

Here’s how I started my speech “Ting tong, the elevator stops. A lady in black attire

This is very important to me, because a name affects ones personality and sameen with a sss means fat in Arabic. So essentially when you say my name- you would look like this *image* Sameen, with a saa means precious.

walks elegantly towards the sleek black Mercedes

The club members loved it. I could see people actually practicing saying THAMEEN instead of Sameen immediately.

parked outside, she puts on her branded sunglasses.

YOUR STORY

The glass doors of the building close smoothly behind

Decide what you want people to know about you and weave it into a story, just as if you were telling it to your friends. Share your experiences.

and high heels emerges from behind the doors. As she

her. It is a host to many multinational companies of the region.

The more personal your talk, the warmer the relationship will be between you and the audience. An important aspect I learnt is to never describe yourself using adjectives. Don’t say I am ambitious or determined or things like that. People might find direct use of adjectives boring and self-praising.

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Tell them what makes you ambitious or determined. Tell a story and let the audience create judgements, instead of giving your own opinions about yourself. Since you’re expected to talk for about 4 to 6 minutes, your speech should ideally consist of 900 words. To make it interesting you could use the following methods Chronological Start from your birth and take them to a journey through education, profession and so on.

looking for more and I had to say thank you to give them the cue that I was about to leave the stage. My mentor and evaluator were not too impressed-. It was suggested I should have ended the speech with a strong quote that people would remember later. PERFORM A strong script is necessary but what’s even more important is how you actually perform it. First of all don’t forget to rehearse

Or discuss some

Make sure you stand with an open posture, meaning with your hands wide open and moving when necessary to leave an impact. Don’t move too much on the stage, this makes it hard for people to focus. Meaningful motion helps catch their attention. An open posture shows you’re confident and welcoming.

Common grounds

Discuss something that has been a defining aspect in different times in your life. •

Taster

So you can select three or four interesting aspects of your life that will give your fellow club members insight and understanding of you as an individual. •

What brings you here?

Posture.

Connect.

You could explain how you became who you are today in a professional capacity.

Walk to the stage, take a deep breath and look at everyone in the eyes. Do not start talking without being first connected to the audience.

Event

You could tell about a defining moment of your life. In my toastmaster speech I mixed up 3 techniques, I told them what brought me here by discussing an event that had a huge effect on me in a chronological manner. CLOSING Finish with a quote or words that would leave a lasting effect on the audience. The first impression is important, but the last impression is what lasts a long time. Also make sure when you close, people know this is the end of your speech. Either your tone or your words should send a cue to the audience.

Voice modulation.

When you speak, be clear. Take pauses. Raise and lower your voice when appropriate •

Be confident.

Remember the speech is mostly just to break the ice and not to judge you. Do some power poses before you leave for the venue. Lastly don’t forget to record your speech! Watching yourself perform later, is a very helpful way to improve your skills in the next performance. Ask a fellow toastmaster to record your speech for you.

- TM Sameen Hamid

This is how I ended my speech “This is not my corporate dream life, it does not have a glass building, a black Mercedes or valet parking , but are they really necessary to keep one happy?” The idea was to end it with the same words that I began with. However, the idea did not turn out well, people did not realize I has finished. They were Page 5

A W A K E NI N G


HOW PLAYING CHESS TEACHES LIFE SKILLS? The question, Does every game teach you something needed for life? has been pondering in my mind for a long time. I believe, it is. And to prove my belief, I started analyzing my favorite game, Chess. And these are few things that came up to my mind.

1.To make a winning move, one needs to analyze existing status of the game carefully. Analytical skills are honed in this way and teaches us that, you need to analyze any challenge you face in life thoroughly otherwise it would be the case of turning a blind eye to your own life. 2. Evaluate every single option. After analyzing the game, you need to evaluate every single move you could make for your turn. Depending on opponent‘s position, you choose the best move from available options. A good decision making skills is developed. Similarly often we come across different opportunities, different options to choose from what life has provided us. Playing a series of chess games teach us to evaluate better of our choices and choosing the most apt one; after all, in life every single decision we make is a life changing one.

like choosing wrong option, careless mistake, opponent being stronger than you whatever it is.

Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take

After that also, one doesn’t quit the game; rather continue the game, their mind wistfully thinking yet another better move to turn the in favor to them. Life challenges are also the same aren’t they? A strong feeling of determination is sowed inside you every time when you play a game, no matter whether you win or lose.

responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment.

As quoted by the chess champion, Garry Kasparov, Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment. And the famous entrepreneur Tony Hsieh has noticed, there are many similarities between the game poker and business. This shows that not only Chess, any game for that matter teaches us many skills we would need to handle our existence with purpose and happiness. - TM Navneetha Lokanathan

3. Not giving up. There are situations even after careful analysis and evaluation of moves, one may lose their major power because of many reasons

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MEETING POSTERS

"While most of us may have entered

Toastmasters to learn to make speeches, that benefit is but the beginning of the good which may come to us and the good which we may do for mankind." - Founder Toastmaster Ralph Smedley

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MEETING POSTERS

"Ours is the only organization I

know dedicated to the individual, we work together to

bring out the best in each of us and then we apply these skills to help others." - Founder Toastmaster Ralph Smedley

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MEETING POSTERS

"We learn best in moments of enjoyment"

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”

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THE SUPER TOY 43 quintillion combinations, but only one solution. To put things into perspective, one quintillion is 1 followed by 18 zeroes. What is considered to be the world’s bestselling toy, a toy that changed the very definition of a toy, a toy that created an art form based on it, a toy, that today world championships are held over, The Rubiks cube was invented by a young Hungarian professor, Erno Rubik, for the sole purpose of introducing his students to a whole new world puzzle solving. The cube was initially made by his own hands using wood and rubber bands. Initially there were no colours but when he added the colours it became an invention of dreams for the young professor. He himself took a whole month to solve the cube by observing patterns. "It was wonderful, to see how, after only a few turns, the colors became mixed, apparently in random fashion. It was tremendously satisfying to watch this color parade. Like after a nice walk when you have seen many lovely sights you decide to go home, after a while I decided it was time to go home, let us put the cubes back in order. And it was at that moment that I came face to face with the Big Challenge: What is the way home?" - Erno Rubik

Over the years, more than half a billion cubes have been sold worldwide. It has won the world’s best toy award in several occasions. Now there are cube opens, where it is checked who can solve the cube the fastest. People can now solve the cube one handed, with their legs and even blindfolded!

ensures you are able to process your thoughts faster. This requires better coordination between your eyes and your hands to keep up with the speed of your thoughts. It helps you improve your short-term memory as well. Keeping track of what pieces are where, is a good exercise to train your short-term memory. The Rubik’s cube is a 3D puzzle that can help work on your spatial intelligence. It includes analytical and abstract abilities that involve recognizing images and relating it to other objects in its surroundings, which in turn will expand the boundaries of your imagination and creativity. You will develop a wider perception to the entire process of problem-solving. It improves your mental reflexes and the minute you are presented with any other problem, you will be tackle it better and with much more confidence than before

There is more than the standard cube we all know about, Moreover, the self-satisfaction you get when reaching there is unmatched to anything else. One final benefit, it makes you look like a genius even when you are NOT!!!

- TM Rohit Kumar

It also started an art form called Rubik’s Cubism where people make pictures using these cubes. Apart from being addictive, here are some benefits of learning to solve the cube, 

It keeps your mind active. It teaches you the importance every single move you make. It helps you notice patterns and eliminate possibilities, which is a very important criteria scientist use to study intelligent species. It improves your hand-eye coordination. It improves your concentration in general and

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KATHAK There are so many dance forms in the world and Kathak is one of the ten major forms of Indian classical dance. What is dance? For some it is an exercise and some take it as hobby. For me dance is worship and it is a passion. I chose to learn Katha because it has Bhav (expressions) and even a layman can understand this dance. Most of the Bollywood classical dances are based on Kathak. The origin of Kathak is traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of ancient northern India known as Kathakars or storytellers. The eyes work as a medium of communication of the story the dancer is trying to communicate. Vedic Sanskrit word Katha which means "story", and Kathaka which means "he who tells a story", or "to do with stories"

There are three Gharana or styles of Kathak- Jaipur, Banaras and Lucknow. The most popular Gharana is Lucknow Gharana. In Lucknow also capital of Uttar Pradesh was yet another stalwart, Thakur Prasad who along with his brother Durga Prasad developed the "Lucknow" gharana of Kathak. Durga Prasad's son Bindadin took it to great heights and for this reason the Lucknow gharana is more often associated with Pandit Bindadin. Bindadin's brother Kalka Prasad had three sons, Acchan Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaja and Shambhu Maharaj. Achan Maharaj's son, Birju maharaj has further taken this art to its extreme grace and grandeur. It is for this reason he has been awarded the title of "PadmaBhusan". Birju Mahraj ji has done the choreography for many Bollywood movies. He has taught Kathak from Madhubala to Dipika Padukan. He has choreographed Mughl-e-Azam, Shatranj ke khiladi, Devdas, Dil to Pagal hai, Bajirao Mastani etc. If asked what Kathak offers to a common person, the answer is everything. It has the mesmerizing charm of grace, art, power, music, grandeur and a blend of cultures. Padma Bhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj ji was here last week and I could spend most memorable time with him learning few tips to improve my dance.

This ancient art of storytelling originated in the temples of Northern India almost 2000 years ago. The story tellers recited various stories to teach the laymen simple, beautiful and most importantly spiritual aspects of life.

As they say live up to your dream, it’s never too late. I am living my dream and looking forward to learn this ultimate and unparalleled form of dance, conquering stage with performance and pass it on to my daughters as well.

-TM Heena Sharma

With the passage of time, the story telling art evolved more into a dance form, intimately fused with the classical music from Northern India known as "Hindustani" music. What distinguished it from other classical arts was its unique character of spontaneity, freedom, uniformity and a lot of room for innovations and improvisations. All this fused with expressions and extreme fast footwork known as "Tatkar" and spinning known as "Chakkars" made this not only a popular art, but an art loved by the public.

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A TRIP TO EYGPT I love traveling. But historical and prehistorical destinations are nowhere in my travel wish list. Still, I traveled to Egypt, spent six days seeing the ancient temples, museums, sphinxes and pyramids; Walked for hours under the scorching summer sun; Asked questions; Recorded the guide’s lectures and even noted down important points in a booklet. “You should plan a trip to Egypt immediately.” My husband said one day, out of the blue. He was reading a Facebook post written by my father.

I planned the trip. Booked the tickets, stay and itinerary tentatively. Then called my parents and gave them the surprise. The visa was quickly done through Musafir India. On 31st of August, we started from Kerala. My daughter was having holidays, so she too joined us. We spent 4 days in the river Nile, in a small cruise ship, traveling from Aswan to Luxor. Then 2 days in Cairo.

My father is nearing 70. He suffers from partial hearing loss. So, he gave me a booklet to note down the details. As I was noting down and occasionally recording their orations, both our guides, Amro and Dahlia, mistook me for being a history enthusiast. We visited many historic and prehistoric places, temples and museums: Experienced the life on the shores of Nile; Enjoyed local food; Met with people; Realized the impact of Jasmine Revolution on the country’s Economy; And on the final day, we saw the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only surviving member of ‘The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’.

My father is very active on Facebook. He writes long stories on his wall. He has many friends and followers on Face Book. After his retirement, the library, Facebook and retired employees’ association keep him busy. His new post was about his passion for traveling. He wrote about his unfulfilled travel desires. Egypt was in his list. At the end of the post he said that his health and age are not in favor so, he is going to crush the wish list and throw it into the garbage bin.

But the best experience for me was to see my father as active as a teenager. When he insisted on entering into the narrow passage to the interiors of the Pyramid, I even told my mother, ‘I wouldn’t have had this much trouble to control Maher.’ Maher is my 16 years old son. His wish list has 2 more destinations, now they are in my wish list too!

- TM Shine Shaji

My husband found me as the best candidate to accomplish ‘mission Egypt’ because both my siblings are working for others and have small children. My children are in the hostel. And the best thing about running your own business is that you can approve your own leave.

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SCAR ON MY BACK I thought I was dreaming. In my mind’s deepest thoughts. Water gushed into my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. My wounds were fresh, slashed by the wrath of the rocks. Am I still alive? Elora Gorge! Ornamented by her lush green valleys, Elore gorge is situated in Ontario, a province of Canada. But what brings her so much of beauty? All around her are sky spearing mountains that looked like the spines of a dragon. Through her valley, flowed the grand river. Like impetuous youth, burbling and blushing and beating over the rocks. The most adventurous activity is the river tubing. There were about 10 of us who wanted to try out this activity. Before undertaking any risky business, it is mandatory to read the safety instructions. 10 of us stood in front of a large old rugged board.

Tubing takes place in a natural river. You may encounter extreme conditions that are beyond our control. Sections of the river are fast-flowing and turbulent. You could be ejected from your tube.

I turned back to see five of them back out from the group. The remaining 5 of us, continued to read.

There are no lifeguards or river patrol staff to help you in the event of an emergency. There are no exit points along the route. Once you begin, you must finish the tubing run, which is about two kilometers. “I haven’t finished living my life yet! I am not coming!” said my aunt.

The 4 of us, continued to read

Competent swimming abilities are required. If you can't swim, you should not participate. Now, it was just me and my uncle.

The lady at the counter asked us to fill a form. “If you go missing, we need this information”, she said, her eyes signaling danger. She gave me a big tube shaped like a donut, about twice the weight of my body and a helmet.

“You go first”, I told my uncle. He placed the tube and hopped on to it. I imitated my uncle. My mom asked me to never leave the tube. The gentle waves carried us forward. Cold water touched my feet as I paddled forward with my hands. I laid my back, and looked up. Clouds swollen with snow covered the sky. Birds chirped and fluttered! About half way down the river, I saw two large, black, sharp rocks protruding right in the center of the river. While the other tubes made its way away from Page 13

the rocks, mine was adamant. “You need to move away, Meghna!”, my uncle screamed from the other side. The river took advantage of my weightless body. As it took me forward, I paddled tougher with my hands to move away from the rocks. The tube moved faster with waves and tilted, making me lose my balance and dropped me into the water. That’s when I realized that my trainer taught me every form of swimming style, except the most difficult one- how to tread water to prevent drowning. I frantically, pushed my limbs hoping they would touch the rocks underneath. The tides pushed me forward, faster. The raging river with her rocks, scrapped off the most fragile part of my body. My lower back. I thought I was dreaming. In my mind’s deepest thoughts. Water gushed into my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. My wounds were fresh, slashed by the wrath of the rocks. Am I still alive? I called out my uncle. But my voice turned into mute bubbles. I knew that I had to stop breathing or opening my mouth. I saw my tube, all alone floating at a distance. I swam forward, lifting my head up and inhaled greedily. I got hold of my tube and struggled to get in it. I heard my uncle laughing at a distance. What just happened in 5 seconds felt like 5 long hours. I only wished for one thing. To get back and hug my mom tight. The rest of my journey through the waters were filled with seldom prayers that I sent to God asking him to carry me quickly back to my family. After about half an hour, I see my family waiting for me at the river bank. All my friends who avoided the adventure, came up to me with questions about the journey. I ran to my mom and hugged her tight. As I hugged her, I saw the furious river seeming so still, yet still in motion. Grand River taught me to embrace challenges. I have never been through circumstances where I had to fight back for my life. I wasn’t wearing a life jacket. I had no choice. Grand River brought that fighter in me. I am my own hero. If it wasn’t for the Grand River, I still would have not learned to tread water. After getting back to Dubai, my friends ask me what I had got for them from Canada. I smile and I proudly say, “A scar on my back from the Grand River”.

- TM Meghna Tony

A W A K E NI N G


WHY DO WE NEED TO GO ON VACATION? Working as an Expat in UAE, putting in the long hours, thinking about the education plan for children, the EMIs to be paid for the retirement home and other commitments, drives us crazy and forces us to put off those long-dreamt vacation plans. I am sure everyone of you, have gone through this hassle of postponing your vacation to the dream place, saying to yourself “Let me go next year”. Unfortunately, the next year never comes. That brings up the question on the benefits of taking a break from monotony and pamper yourself with that trip with the family and loved ones. •

It reduces stress without any stretch of your imagination

It creates a lot of family time, which unfortunately is something which is lost in the UAE amongst our busy schedules

It does a lot of good to your health

It improves your creativity since you are exposed to a new environment, people, culture etc.

Over all it makes you a lot happier and makes you more productive at work after the break.

The best part of it was, the Game reserves of which we did 5 in 9 days, which meant we were constantly on the road, just the three of us locked in a spacious van, with no wi-fi or internet connection. Trust me, those were the best moments I will always cherish, because we three had nothing else to do other than talk, goad, fight and laugh together. Little do we realize; how much technology has stolen all those magical moments from us. Life is to be lived and cherished rather than worrying about the commitments and old age requirements. Who knows what will befall on us tomorrow? Planning for the future is good but living in the present and enjoying with the loved ones and creating memories is more important than the piles of cash in our account! That’s what I believe in!

-TM Kannappan Narayanan, CL

I am sure most of you would agree to the points mentioned above. You need to disconnect yourself from the daily routine to recharge your batteries. For me, it definitely slows down my brain, helps me relax and makes me accept life with different perspectives. One such trip which I would recommend to one and all was the one which took me to Kenya. What an amazing trip it turned out to be. A beautiful country with abundance of natural wealth and home to the Big Five (Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards). The Rift valley which cuts across 11 countries including Kenya, the equatorial line passing through it, a wonderful tropical climate, natural organic food and an English-speaking population makes it one of the best destinations to holiday.

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BEAUTIFUL CLICKS

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- TM RIOLA TAURO

A W A K E NI N G


BEAUTIFUL CLICKS

- TM RIOLA TAURO

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”— Ansel Adams

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MOMENTS CAPTURED MEETING NO 172

MEETING NO 173

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MOMENTS CAPTURED MEETING NO 174

MEETING NO 175

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MOMENTS CAPTURED MEETING NO 176

MEETING NO 177

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MOMENTS CAPTURED MEETING NO 178

MOCK DEBATE CONTEST

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MOMENTS CAPTURED ANTC ANNUAL DEBATE CONTEST

MEETING NO 181

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MOMENTS CAPTURED ANTC in ICDC DEBATE CONTEST

ANTC in ICDC DEBATE CONTEST

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MOMENTS CAPTURED AL NAHDA TOASTMASTERS CLUB DEBATE WINNERS

(FROM LEFT TM MEGHNA TONY, TM RIOLA TAURO, TM HEENA SHARMA)

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Awakening Nov 2017  
Awakening Nov 2017  

ANTC presents the Autumn issue of our Newsletter, "Awakening". This Newsletter showcases the versatility of our members. And, that's not all...

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