Shar­ing the stage

First round of schol­ar­ships agreed

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Ma­hakLFC ma­hak@7days.ae

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

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