Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Qatar Scholarship – Education Above All (EAA) program at the American University of Beirut (AUB) held an event at the university campus to celebrate the first cohort of students benefiting from this new funding opportunity and to introduce to them the program, its opportunities, and partners behind it.
The Qatar Scholarship – EAA program is funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and is a four-year partnership between Education Above All (EAA) and AUB. The program aims to provide access to quality education to 400 deserving eligible Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian young women and men in Lebanon who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees at AUB, by making sure 100 percent of their tuition fees are covered, by providing them with many civic engagement opportunities, and by connecting them locally and internationally through Qatar Connections.
In his welcome notes during the event, Dr. Fadlo Khuri, AUB president, spoke about how AUB Qatar Scholarship – EAA team has adopted the ACE (Access, Connect, Engage) motto for the scholarship, since through the Qatar Scholarship the university offers students access to quality education, the chance to connect locally and internationally, and the platform to engage in meaningful opportunities. “Despite all the hardship this country and the region are experiencing, scholarship opportunities such as this one enable students to better reach for their dreams, and to establish a brighter future for themselves."
Recipients of the Qatar Scholarship are selected form various scholarship programs within the AUB Office of Financial Aid or the Leadership, Equity, and Diversity (LEAD) initiative at the university, which promotes diversity and aspires to offset inequities in access to transformative education through supporting the development of world class graduates who will become the next generation of leaders. Beneficiaries of the Qatar Scholarship are selected based on their financial eligibility, and their alignment with the scholarship's ethos and objectives as evident by their previous selection for scholarship programs at the university as well as their participation.
Dr. Zaher Dawy, AUB provost, said “The strategic partnership between AUB, Education Above All, and Qatar Fund for Development has been driven by our long-standing commitment to equity and diversity in education. Today we meet to celebrate the first 120 student awardees of the Qatar Scholarship Education Above All program - a program that will further enrich the scholar's experience and their educational journey at the American University of Beirut."
The program creates meaningful opportunities for scholars from across the MENA region by providing them with opportunities to participate in one-time or recurring local events and exchange programs in Qatar; understand and participate in the current and historical aspects of Qatar; and gain and exchange knowledge that can add value to their own local communities and the MENA region as a whole. The program will also allow selected scholars to travel and spend a semester or summer during their degree in a similar university program in Qatar or vice versa from Qatar to Lebanon.
Talal Al Hothal, director of EAA's Al Fakhoora program, spoke about the importance of this scholarship and partnership. "We are excited about this partnership with the American University of Beirut, which allows us to work together to reach more deserving youth in Lebanon. Last year, we launched a program with the university to give four hundred scholarships to young people in Lebanon." He added, “The Qatar Scholarship Program works to guarantee the right to higher education for young people in conflict-affected areas, and also by offering a comprehensive scholarship model, our goal is to build cadres of marginalized youth to become educated, civic, and positive youth, who inspire their families and community towards cohesion and prosperity."
The event on February 19, 2022 which was attended by AUB's administration, deans, in addition to directors of all scholarships at AUB, featured a presentation by the Qatar Scholarship – EAA program director, Prof. Joseph Costantine detailing the opportunities available to students and introducing the team at AUB composed of Gabriel El Hachach as project coordinator, as well as Rabab Abi Shakra as monitoring and evaluation specialist.
The gathering concluded with a Q&A session led by five panelists: Deputy Provost Lina Choueiri; Dr. Samar Harkous, director, University Preparatory Program and director, USAID/USP VII and HES; Karen Chahine, project manager, Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service; Rana El-Sayed, director of stewardship, Office of Advancement Services; and the director of the Qatar Scholarship – EAA program at AUB.
For more information about the Qatar Scholarship please visit https://www.aub.edu.lb/LEAD/Pages/default.aspx