La Liga dominates Golden Boy nominations

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Nine La Liga players have been nominated to receive the prestigious Italian award that highlights young talent in Europe.

On Saturday, Italian newspaper, Tuttosport, released the list of the 40 official nominees for its tenth annual Golden Boy award, which honors the best under-21 player in Europe.

Each candidate must be an active in a first division European league and born after 1 January 1992.  30 journalists from the top sporting publications across continent, such as Le Équipe, Marca, A Bola, Bild, The Times, De Telegraaf, Mundo Deportivo, France Football, Sport Express, Blick and Ta Nea, will vote on the winner to be announced in December in Turin, Italy.

The nominees include Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona B), Isco (Málaga CF), Jesé (Real Madrid Castilla), Koke (Atletico Madrid) Samuele Longo (RCD Espanyol), Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao), Joel Campbell (Real Betis) and Raphael Varane (Real Madrid CF).

The winner will join the likes of past recipients such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Agüero, Anderson, Alexandre Pato, and Mario Balotelli.

German midfield Mario Götze, the 2011 Golden Boy award winner, has been nominated again this year for his work with Borussia Dortmund.

The full list of nominees can be found here.

This article was originally published on on Oct. 29, 2012.

MSA Fast-a-thon inspires students across campus

No food and no water from sunrise to sunset.

That was how hundreds of Stony Brook University students spent Monday, Oct. 8, as a part of the 10th annual ‘Fast-a-thon.’

The students experienced one day out of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to honor the millions of people around the world who face hunger every day.

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) organized a dinner after sunset in the Student Activities Center where students came together to share both a meal and an experience.

Sanaa Nadim, MSA’s Chaplain at SBU Interfaith Center, came up with the idea 10 years ago, “basically to build bridges of communication and understanding and respect in the campus community and to really show that the MSA is part of the larger campus community,” said MSA Vice President Reem Zohny, a senior sociology and psychology major.

The night started with the ‘iftar,’ a meal to break the day’s fast, followed by MSA President Zain Ali, who is a senior biochemistry and Spanish language and literature major, making the Islamic call to prayer.  For many attendees, the day of fasting served as a time of reflection.

“It was something I haven’t done but I wanted to do at Stony Brook so I wanted to experience it and I wanted to learn more because that’s what college is about,” Pavithra Shunivasin, junior psychology and biology major, said. “You really realize how grateful you are and when you have to watch everything you eat you don’t realize how easy it is to just have a cookie here or there.”

The event brought together students from all over the area as well. New York Institute of Technology student, Prova Shukla, found the ‘Fast-a-thon’ to be a way to reconnect with friends.

“During Ramadan time, we all fast at home but since this is a school environment where all of our friends are, we were allowed to fast together and when you have friends fasting together it makes things a lot easier,” said Shukla.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the organization Long Island Harvest, which provides services to those suffering from hunger in the area, as well as a construction project to build a school in Sierra Leone.

“We were approached by Free the Children initiative here on campus and they asked us for this so we honored that request and we thought that was good because it shows that we’re not only focused on our money or our deprivation of food going towards someone else’s food and quenching their thirst but rather that in giving back to the community,” said Ali. “It’s not in one dimension and we wanted to give back in more than one way.”

“Education is the most fundamental way to give back,” he continued. “You can give a man a fish but teaching him how to fish is completely different.”

Throughout the night, students were asked to share their experiences of what it was like to neither eat nor drink for one day.

For Ali, the highlight of the night was “actually seeing people who aren’t Muslim come out and share their appreciation for fasting and the effect it had on them” in a greater effort to unite the campus community.

This article was originally published in the Oct. 15, 2012 issue of The Statesman.