Students Earn Scholarships for Study in the U.S.
Members of the EducationUSA Competitive College Club at AMIDEAST/Lebanon.

This spring, 14 outstanding young men and women from Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, and Tunisia were thrilled to receive admissions and generous scholarships to pursue their undergraduate studies in the United States. Two special scholarship initiatives — AMIDEAST’s Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF) and the Hope Fund Program — were critical to their success.

Nine students — seven from Lebanon and one each from Egypt and Tunisia — were placed through the DKSSF, an AMIDEAST initiative that assists highly qualified Arab students who wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the United States but lack the resources to do so. In nine years, the DKSSF has matched 75 deserving young men and women from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen with scholarships at colleges and universities across the United States.

This year’s DKSSF scholars will begin their undergraduate studies in fall 2015 at MIT, Earlham, Lafayette, and Swarthmore Colleges, Harvard and Lehigh Universities, and the Universities of Denver, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, thanks to generous scholarship awards from these institutions.

Five Palestinian students — one from the West Bank, one form Gaza, and three from Lebanon — were placed through the Hope Fund Program. They will attend Hollins and Monmouth Universities and Carleton, Columbia, and St. Olaf Colleges. That brings to nearly 100 the number of Palestinian youths matched with scholarships for undergraduate studies in the United States since Hope Fund was established in 2000 to expand opportunities for higher education for academically qualified underserved Palestinian youth. (See "AMIDEAST Adds Hope Fund Program" for more about the program.)

We’re proud of this year’s DKSSF and Hope Fund students, all of whom want to make a difference. For example, Jad Wehbi plans to study physics at Harvard and hopes to eventually return to Lebanon to establish an institute for scientific research. Yara Maalouf, also from Lebanon,  is off to MIT, where she plans to study chemical engineering — the most futuristic and revolutionary field of engineering in her view.

Moataz Noureddine will double major in biology and neuroscience at Earlham College in preparation for a career in research to discover cures for the emerging infectious diseases of our decade. And Ferial Berjawi from Lebanon, who plans to study political science and economics at Swarthmore College, hopes to work at UNICEF and UNHCR in order to protect the human rights of unprivileged children. “I'd like to thank AMIDEAST for helping students believe that education is the most powerful source of stability in the midst of chaos,” said Ferial.


The success of our scholarship search efforts depends on the generosity of donors. The scholarships provided by colleges and universities do not cover all of the costs of these valuable programs. Find out how you can support the DKSSF and Hope Fund programs on the AMIDEAST website.


In addition to the DKSSF and Hope Fund, AMIDEAST works through other initiatives to expand access to higher education for promising high school students from the region. This year, 60 men and women were awarded full scholarships for undergraduate study at the American University in Cairo, the American University of Beirut, and Lebanese American University through the Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The students, who were selected for their high academic achievement, leadership potential, and desire to contribute to their communities, come from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank, and Yemen.  In addition, close to 30 obtained admissions to colleges and universities in the United States through the Competitive College Clubs and Opportunity and Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants Programs offered through EducationUSA advising centers that AMIDEAST operates in many of these countries.


Meet the 2015 DKSSF and Hope Fund Students

Said Alhosseini, a Hope Fund student from Gaza, will attend St. Olaf College. Said is a smart and driven young man with dreams undeterred by his experience growing up in war-torn Gaza Strip. After a year in the United States on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, he became one of the most active YES alumni in Gaza, bringing back the spirit of volunteerism and community service to help his community. Said’s many interests and potential major fields of study include international relations, politics, sociology, and anthropology.

Fayza El Banna, a Hope Fund student from Lebanon, will attend Carleton College, where she plans to major in Biology. A Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Fayza is an outstanding student with well-rounded interests who received her education from public and UNRWA schools. Her fear of an uncertain future has pushed her to excel in her studies and seize every possible opportunity to become a better leader. Fayza hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine that enables her to provide medical relief for the deprived people in her society.

Suhaila El Banna, a Hope Fund student from Lebanon, will attend Hollins College, where she plans to major in Political Science and Environmental Science. A Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Suhaila cares strongly about human, environmental, and women rights and selected a pre-law program because she wishes to spend her life fighting for justice and equality and helping the people in her society to become more tolerant and accepting of one another.  

Ferial Berjawi of Lebanon will attend Swarthmore College, where she plans to major in Political Science and Economics. She believes that education is the most powerful weapon and the only means to build open-minded and compassionate civilizations. “I hope to work at UNICEF and UNHCR in order to protect the human rights of the underprivileged children. I'd like to thank AMIDEAST for helping students believe that education is the most powerful source of stability in the midst of chaos.”

Abdelrahman Elfaramawy of Egypt will attend the University of Minnesota, where he plans to study Computer Engineering. He hopes to be a programmer and a software developer like Bill Gates in the future . He is looking forward to learning how to eliminate Egypt’s challenges in this field. Abdelrahman’s academic excellence won him grants from Misr ElKheir Foundation and two other awards from the University of Minnesota.

Wassim Gharbi of Tunisia will attend Lafayette College, where he plans to major in Computer Science. He built a strong profile of outstanding academic achievement and social engagement at one of Tunisia's most competitive high schools. Despite a demanding schedule, he demonstrated an ability to create a balance between his studies and his involvement in extracurricular activities that included science projects and competitions and volunteer activity.

Layal Issa, a Hope Fund student from Lebanon, will attend Columbia College.A Palestinian, she was born and raised in Tripoli, Libya, and now lives in Saida, Lebanon. She has decided to pursue a degree in Public Affairs in order to be part of positive change and development in her community. She would like to be a public speaker, an event planner, or a manager who contributes to the wellbeing of her community. She also plans to launch a youth empowerment organization. 

Mustafa Jachi of Lebanon will attend the University of Denver, where he will major in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on materials science, nanotechnology, and renewable energy. He appreciates AMIDEAST for giving him the push he needed to realize his dream of a scholarship to study in the U.S. “My pursuit of a mechanical engineering degree at University of Denver will allow me to focus on developing renewable energy and nanotechnology in the modern Arab world. AMIDEAST and the board have my eternal gratitude.”

Angham Jaradat from the West Bank will attend Monmouth College. The Hope Fund student is a bright, personable, active, and well-rounded young woman who hopes one day to get an MBA. Angham is an alumna of three competitive U.S. Department of State programs: the English Access Microscholarship Program, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, and the Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants Program. An avid chess player and a member of the Palestinian National Chess Team, she has participated in three international chess tournaments. 

Hadi El Kebbi of Lebanon will attend Lehigh University , where he will study Architecture. Hadi is passionate about art, music, and math and wishes to find ways to integrate these passions. “After I graduate, I aim to receive master's and doctorate degrees in architecture. Words cannot even express my deepest gratitude towards AMIDEAST for all the help and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Yara Jabbour Maalouf of Lebanon will attend MIT. She intends to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering, which she believes is the most futuristic and revolutionary field of engineering and one that will allow her to be involved in medicine, law, international affairs, and business. She enjoys writing and music and hopes to continue on to a Ph.D. or complement her engineering studies with a degree in International Law. “I am a better person today because of the nurturing home and guidance that AMIDEAST has provided.”

Mia Mansour of Lebanon will attend the University of Pennsylvania   as a Penn World Scholar, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, with a focus on aerospace. Her interests also include painting, choral arts, swimming, Model United Nations, debate, and travel. “AMIDEAST has fulfilled my ambitions in becoming a ‘Penn World Scholar’. I look ahead to years of research in astrophysics while promoting a network of liberal arts expertise and leading women in the technology field.”

Moataz Noureddine of Lebanon will attend Earlham College, where he is planning to double major in Biology and Neuroscience. Ever since he was young, he wanted to learn more about different species and diseases. His dream is to become a researcher and eventually establish his own research laboratory in Lebanon from which to inspire the coming generations that biology is a wide field with many opportunities. “AMIDEAST has changed my life not only by providing me with new educational opportunities, but it has also helped me grow on the personal level.”

Jad Wehbi of Lebanon will attend Harvard University, where he plans to pursue a major in Physics in order to achieve his dream of participating in cutting-edge particle physics research. Jad hopes to eventually return to Lebanon and establish an institute for scientific research. “With the amazing help and support you get at AMIDEAST, you can only blame yourself if you fail to succeed and reach your goals.”