Sharing the stage
First round of scholarships agreed
Dozens of Arab students who are struggling to afford higher education have been granted scholarships by a UAE foundation to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
The 170 students were shortlisted from 14,500 applicants by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, which aims to help 15,000 Arab youths pursue STEM studies over the next 10 years.
Among the scholarship winners is 18-year-old Palestinian Badriyeh Diab, who will be studying environmental sciences at the American University of Beirut.
Diab chose the field after living with her family in the Nahr El Bared refugee camp, in often difficult and unsanitary conditions.
By pursuing her degree, she hopes to address the most pressing health issues in and around the refugee camps, such as a lack of clean water and rubbish disposal.
Despite taking shelter in a garage until By Mahak Mannan their apartment was re-built in 2007, Diab remained focused on her studies and was top of her class.
She said: “I am excited to receive this scholarship and to have the opportunity to continue fulfilling my dreams. Education [to me] is a weapon that will arm us in our future.”
Syrian Mohammed Said Al Ghabra, 20, who lives in the UAE, will also be returning to education through the programme after interrupting his studies for two years to work and support his family.
As a computer science student, Al Ghabra believes one of the biggest problems in the Arab region is outdated education systems and hopes to modernise the Arab classroom for the next generation.
Lucky ‘Fivers’ Thalia Barhoush, Carol Chaaya and Zaynab Moussawi are tossing around ideas with boy band The5 at the Clean & Clear #SeeTheRealMe songwriting camp. This is part of the brand’s competition for fans to write or record their ideas for lyrics for the band and get a chance to join the boys in a four-day creative camp. Thalia, 12, and Zaynab, 14, were chosen from the thousands of submissions from across the GCC, while Clean & Clear’s winner from last year, Carol, 16, was invited back. The trio will help to pen the new single before joining the boys at a recording session, meaning the new single will feature their vocals. “We are representing all the fans they have,” said Carol. “There are so many girls who entered the competition and the fact we are chosen is a big deal. “The purpose of the campaign is that even today, when everyone is focused on how they should look to the rest of the world, it’s important to make sure you can be just yourself.” The5 charmed the audience at the finals of last year’s The X Factor Middle East. The band comprises Adil Echbiy, Kazem Chamas, Ahmed Hassan, Mohamed Bouhezza aka BMD, and Said Karmouz. BMD said: “It is an amazing experience. We were as nervous meeting our fans, they have no idea we were as scared as they were. It’s because of them we are here, this is our way of saying thanks.”
HELPED: Badriyeh Diab