20 September 2022





On Sunday, September 18th, 2022, the Education Above All-Qatar Scholarship Office at -AQB, led by Program Manager, Dr. Issam Khoury, and Communication and Qatar Connections Officer Hakam Abu Laban, organized an orientation event for EAA-Qatar Scholars of the 2022 Cohort at Al-Quds Bard College, comprised of 45 Scholars pursuing their Master of Arts in Teaching degree and 21 Scholars pursuing their Bachelor of Arts degree,  to inform them about the EAA-Qatar Scholarship Program, and all the opportunities available to scholars both by EAA and AQB. Director of EAA's Al Fakhoora programme, Talal Al Hothal commented, “We are delighted to partner with the prestigious Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences to support talented bachelor and graduate degree students from marginalized communities and backgrounds to access quality education, supported by student services and empowered by the skills necessary to become engaged, productive, inspirational citizens who can adapt and excel in their challenging environments”. Mr. Al-Hothal and other distinguished contributing members of the Qatar Scholarship program had visited AQB in the past months to meet with students.

Dr. Daniel Terris, the Dean of Al-Quds Bard College, welcomed the Scholars and encouraged them to engage in the student life at AQB and enjoy all the benefits made possible by the EAA-Qatar Scholarship, and to excel at their studies, research, and civic engagement projects.

Dr. Issam Khoury then explained the history and structure of the EAA-Qatar Scholarship, and focused on the importance of ensuring equal access to education and harnessing the power of quality education for positive, sustainable, and inclusive change that both Education Above All and Bard College hold high. Dr. Khoury then proceeded to elaborate on the agreement between EAA and Bard College, number of proposed scholarships for Al-Quds Bard College Scholars and introducing the staff of EAA-AQB Office.

Dr. Khoury concluded his presentation by listing all the facets that the EAA-Qatar Scholarship program will contribute to the student life of EAA Scholars. Dr. Khoury elaborated "The Qatar Scholarship Program extends opportunity to students across Palestine to pursue a high-quality education that prepares our students very well for life after their degree. By providing our students with a strong education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, engaging them in a myriad of civic engagement opportunities, and opening up the world to them via the Qatar Connections platform, our Scholars are poised to make a difference in their communities, in Palestine, and indeed, globally." In fact, EAA scholars will be receiving academic support and advising, student support (in the form of counseling available at the college, support during their academic journey, etc), support for their civic engagement projects, guidance on all matters related to students’ finances of their scholarship, as well as post-graduation support.

Later, Ms. Niveen Hashem, the Assistant Director of Finance at Al-Quds Bard College presented a highly detailed and elaborate plan of the financial aspects of the Scholarship and how students would be covered for their entire college life up to 85-95% depending on their pursued degree, track, and financial situation.

As civic engagement is a central component of the EAA Scholarship at AQB, the EAA-AQB office coordinated a thorough presentation of the Civic Engagement Component of the scholarship. Ms. Shadin Nassar, the Student Led Initiatives Coordinator at AQB presented all the outlets and venues EAA scholars can pursue to complete a required amount of Civic Engagement hours respective to each program at AQB.

The Civic Engagement Component of the Scholarship is one of its major pillars, as it enables students to give back to their communities as both students and teachers. This is possible thanks to an inclusive plan that Dr. Issam Khoury designed for EAA Scholars back in 2021, to encourage students to partake in civic engagement activities in their own domains and areas of strength, to ensure quality and sustainability for beneficiaries of community building projects led by EAA scholars in Palestine.

Finally, Mr. Hakam Abu Laban, the Communication and Qatar Connection Officer, presented the opportunities offered by the Qatar Connection program at Education Above All. These will open the door for EAA Scholars in Palestine to join exclusive webinars with renowned organizations led by experts in their respective fields to train them in various aspects of contemporary disciplines, such as creative writing, fact checking news, debate trainings, video production and editing, and many more workshops and webinars available through the Qatar Connection Program.

Mr. Abu Laban concluded by showing scholars a list of EAA - Qatar Partners that students can expect to connect with through the program, including: Al-Jazeera Media Institute, Generation Amazing, INSPIRE, Qatar National Library and many more.

This event was a great success as it brought the EAA-AQB Office and EAA Scholars together in a heartfelt exchange that allowed them to grasp what their upcoming years will have in store for them. The EAA-AQB office believes wholeheartedly in their scholars, not only as exemplary students, but also as community changing personalities that will contribute greatly to their local communities and Palestine as a whole.