Welcoming Our New DKSSF Scholars!

Join us in welcoming our 17 newest scholars as they begin their undergraduate programs this academic year at colleges and universities across the United States and in the region.
Collage of the DKSSF Students

EGYPT

Khaled Ahmed graduated from the Qena STEM School, where he was the founder of its physics and math clubs and served as president of the student union. It was also there that he developed a passion for computer science that led him to win several important competitions, including third place in Egypt at the E-sus Mobile Application Competition, first in the 2020 African Forum for Innovation and Technology in the mobile application category, and first place at the RISEF exhibition within the 2020 environmental engineering category. Khaled is excited to attend Minerva University, where he plans to major in computer science and biology.

Beshoy Atef was a leader in developing mentorship programs at his high school, where he founded the first mentorship program for new students. He also started the school’s first magazine, led an initiative to update the school website, and supported efforts to establish the first Model UN for Egyptian STEM schools. As he prepared to apply to college, he joined the EducationUSA Competitive College Club at Amideast and spent his free time mentoring his peers. Beshoy is double majoring in psychology and English at Kenyon College.

Maria Danial graduated from Ismailia STEM High School, where she was a member of the chemistry club and served as a peer mentor and vice president of the sports committee. Her accomplishments also included ranking among the top 10 participants in the international Internet of Things (IoT) challenge for her project in the health field. Maria developed leadership and entrepreneurship skills during her participation in the Women2Women program, tools that will help her pursue her interest in promoting women’s health in Egypt. In addition, she contributed to community service through the scouts movement and her church and enjoys playing the guitar, camping, swimming, and exploring new things. She is currently a freshman at Haverford College, where she is studying biology and health studies.
Shrouk El-Banna is a driven young woman who since a young age has seen life’s challenges as opportunities for growth. Her experience of looking after her younger siblings, among other things, helped her develop strong leadership skills, which her school recognized by nominating her to be the capstone assistant for underclassmen. Shrouk is excited to be studying civil and environmental engineering at Tufts University, gaining an education that will give her skills to benefit the environment.
Mustafa Eldmerdash developed an interest in research by shadowing a renewable energy project at Egypt’s National Research Centre and serving as a school ambassador and junior member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He also launched a mobile application to support people with autism. Passionate about integrating his interests in the humanities and STEM fields, he is majoring in computer science and business at Sewanee: The University of the South.
A graduate of the Maadi STEM School for Girls, Nehal Farghaly channeled her passion for social change into “Hera,” an initiative that she started with the support of Ashoka Arab World to create a supportive community for girls and young women where they can freely share their thoughts and represent themselves. Hera has organized activities in Egyptian public schools and internationally at global events. Thanks to the support of the EducationUSA CCC in Cairo, Nehal is at Wellesley College, majoring in women and gender studies in order to develop skills that will enable her to give back to her country and solve social problems.

Andrew Henin, an alum of the STEM High School for Boys in 6th of October City, displayed a genuine passion for mathematics, engineering, and entrepreneurship throughout his high-school career. In addition to qualifying for Egypt’s national team in the 2020 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), he founded a program to mentor high school sophomores and juniors seeking to qualify for the IMO. He also served as the vice president of his school’s math club and, in 2020, was one of two Egyptians who attended the six-week LaunchX entrepreneurship program for high schoolers, joining forces with his “team” to develop a start-up that bridges the gap between the poor and the rich. Standing out for his leadership and amiable personality, Andrew was chosen to be the co-vice president of the EducationUSA CCC, where he earned the Best Mentor Award for his mentoring of juniors as they went through the difficult process of applying for U.S. college admissions. Today, he is a freshman at Swarthmore College, leaning towards majoring in engineering.

Omar Khattab demonstrated leadership and initiative throughout high school, serving as the president of his school’s physics team, the head of its media production team, and a leader of the creative writing club at the EducationUSA CCC. Omar’s passion for astrophysics led him to take part in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition, in which he won first place locally and third place internationally. Omar aspires to make the most of his education at a U.S. liberal arts college by combining his interests in the humanities and sciences. As he begins his freshman year at Franklin & Marshall College, he plans on double majoring in astrophysics and film and media studies.

Elyes Laalai loves to learn, whether in formal classrooms, clubs, associations, or volunteer programs. At Williams College, where he plans to major in computational sciences and economics, he is looking forward to stepping out of his comfort zone while engaging with people from different backgrounds and embracing new perspectives. He hopes that the educational opportunities he finds there will eventually help him improve the lives of others.

 LEBANON

Malak Abdan excelled academically at Hariri High School III. Coming from a middle-class family, she appreciated the hard work of her parents that made it possible for her two siblings and her to receive a decent education. Throughout her years in school, she participated in the Annual Hariri Foundation Schools’ Competition, advocating in her essays for the common good and expanding prosperity. In addition to participating in the Model Arab League, she completed countless community service sessions and volunteered for the youth division of the Lebanese Red Cross. Malak is excited to attend New York University Abu Dhabi, where she plans to major in biology with a specialization in brain and cognitive sciences — a focus she chose because the natural world captivates her interest. She feels grateful for the DKSSF program for helping her to complete her first step towards her dream and achieve her future educational goals.

Gheed Bizri, from Saida, plans to major in psychology at Stanford University. She is passionate about understanding mental illness and its implications for the mind and human relationships and hopes to use her expertise to treat mental disorders as well as conduct research related to the fields of psychology and neuroscience. In addition, writing gives meaning to her life, and she hopes that, by continuing to write, she will be able to publish her work in future years! Amideast has been a relentless support for Gheed throughout her college journey. She couldn’t be more grateful to the EducationUSA CCC for providing the guidance that led to a scholarship that will enable her to realize her educational dreams at a time when her parents, who are paid in Lebanese pounds, have seen their salaries shrink significantly due to the depreciation of the exchange rate and skyrocketing prices for food, medications, and other necessities.

Growing up surrounded by hardship, Mario Fares became passionate about community service. After joining the Lebanese Scout Association at the age of nine, he engaged in many community service activities that taught him to be grateful for his blessings and motivated him to mold his future aspirations in the spirit of service. In the long term, he intends to continue this spirit of service by leveraging his strengths in STEM to serve his community in various ways. Amideast equipped him with the knowledge, guidance, and financial support to apply and be admitted to Harvard University, where he plans to major in computer science and data analytics.

Originally from Jdeideh Chouf in Mount Lebanon, Aneel Fatayri spent part of his childhood in Aley. Biology has always been an interest of his, as he is curious about human anatomy and physiology, as well as genetics. He used the extra time that he found during the pandemic to explore these interests, in the process growing fond of the idea of becoming a heart surgeon after completing his undergraduate studies. He says that no amount of thanks will express his appreciation of Amideast and EducationUSA for guiding him through the hardest stage in his life: helping him to better define his academic interests and goals and improve his understanding of the American educational system. Aneel is excited to be majoring in biology at Whitman College.

Antonio-Charbel (“Antonio”) Karam, from the mountain village of Kartaba, fell in love with programming and electronics in seventh grade, and ever since has developed his knowledge and interest in the world of computers. One day he hopes to be able to tackle the world’s ever growing cybersecurity issues and help develop new technologies that contribute to a more sustainable world. Antonio comes from a middle-class family of five, headed by his father, a lawyer, who is its sole source of income at a time when the country’s economy is in freefall. He is grateful for the support of Amideast and EducationUSA, for enabling him to navigate the complicated process of applying to top universities in the United States and receiving a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Notre Dame and the opportunity to pursue his passion for computer engineering.

MOROCCO

Rim Tlih is pursuing a double major in psychology and business and management at Augustana College. She is an aspiring African changemaker who is excited to join an international student body and work with individuals from all over the world. She hopes to make positive change in her community and promote spaces that support collaboration, problem-solving, and leadership.

TUNISIA 

Yassine Khayati is majoring in psychology and economics at Bowdoin College. His first experience of study abroad was in 2019, when he was admitted to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, a prestigious program that connected him with talented youth from across the African continent and enabled him to develop skills to succeed in a demanding environment. Passionate about the humanities, Yassine is looking forward to exploring the intersection between psychology and economics in his undergraduate program.

Narimen Zorgui from Tunisia is double majoring in international relations and peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore College. She completed the international baccalaureate program at the American Cooperative School of Tunis, where she had received the Leadership Scholarship. Narimen aspires to pursue a career in international diplomacy with the goals of mediating conflicts around the world and reducing global inequality. Her research interests include violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa and Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution.