Scholarship

Announcing the 2018 Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship Recipient: Grace Makhoul

The 2018-19 recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship is Grace Makhoul. Congratulations Grace! 

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About Grace

Ms. Grace Makhoul, a first-year candidate in Georgetown’s Master of Arts in Arab Studies Program, is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship. Originally from Homs, Syria, Grace graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 2018 with a BA in Peace and Global Studies and Comparative Languages and Linguistics. As an undergraduate, she was heavily involved in student government and was also a strong advocate for international students’ rights and promoted awareness of the Palestinian cause. She has interned at UNRWA USA—the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees—in Washington, DC, where she served as a research and administrative intern. Grace has been serving as a selection officer and a PR manager for the United World Colleges Syrian National Committee for the past four years. Her pas research has focused on finding alternative solutions to protracted camp placements and the viability and sustainability of multilingual national policies. Grace hopes that her time at CCAS will allow her to utilize lessons from those former experiences and focus on how education can be used as a tool in development work in the region.

Mabrook Grace! Thank you to everyone who donated and made the scholarship possible!

-Biography courtesy of Georgetown University

Announcing the 2017 Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship Recipient, Ghadeer Awwad

The 2017-2018 recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship is Ghadeer Awwad. Congratulations Ghadeer! 

Photo courtesy of Twitter

About Ghadeer

Ms. Ghadeer Awwad is the 2017-2018 Recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Georgetown’s Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program. Ghadeer is originally from Nablus, Palestine and graduated from Earlham College in 2016. Her research interests at MAAS include women’s empowerment, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and human rights, and Palestinian society under Israeli occupation.

At the age of sixteen, Ghadeer Awwad was selected to represent her home country of Palestine at Pearson United World College in Canada, a two-year, pre-university school for students from over 100 countries who live, study and learn together while pursuing the International Baccalaureate. Leaving home at a young age allowed Ghadeer to expand her horizons and develop her identity as a Palestinian Arab woman. After graduating from Pearson College, Ghadeer joined the Union of Palestinian Women Committees as a member and volunteer in Nablus, Palestine. Being part of UPWC provided Ghadeer the opportunity to work closely with women from her own society and to contribute in the national struggle to establish an independent Palestinian State. In addition, hearing women voice their experiences showed Ghadeer the need to take a more critical approach to addressing gender issues in her community.

Following her work in Palestine, Ghadeer returned to North America to attend Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. At Earlham, Ghadeer double-majored in International Studies and Human Development, a combination that enabled her to study public policy with an eye toward issues of social justice. Ghadeer focused her academic research on truth recovery and transitional justice in post-conflict societies and on Palestinian women’s engagement in national resistance movements. During her undergraduate career Ghadeer took a gap semester to work with the Drama, Diversity, and Development project (DDD), which uses culture to promote diversity and challenge discrimination against minorities in the MENA region. Working with DDD provided Ghadeer with further opportunities to engage with women activists and civil-society experts fighting for equality in the MENA region.

Ghadeer aspires to work in the advocacy field and to continue working alongside disadvantaged women in areas affected by war and conflict, such as her native Palestine. To achieve this goal, Ghadeer plans to concentrate her graduate work in the MAAS program on women and development in the MENA region.

Thank you to everyone that made this possible!

-Biography courtesy of Georgetown University

Announcing the 2016 Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship Recipient, Samah Asfour

The 2016-2017 recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship is Samah Asfour. Congratulations Samah! 

 Photo by Douglas Levere, University at Buffalo

Photo by Douglas Levere, University at Buffalo

Born to Palestinian immigrant parents, Samah Asfour tailored her educational and career goals to reflect her Arab identity. At the University at Buffalo, Samah majored in Political Science and Global Gender Studies and minored in French.

To advance her language skills, Samah studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. While there, she began conducting research for her honors thesis topic on the discrimination against Muslim women in France and their counter-public spheres.

Dedicated to alleviating poverty in the developing world, Samah co-founded an organization on campus under the mission to promote female education as a tool of empowerment. After graduating magna cum laude in May 2015, Samah embarked on a Fulbright assignment in Amman, Jordan where she lectured at Jordan Applied University.

During her year teaching business English and tourism English courses, Samah found time to improve her Modern Standard Arabic by taking classes at both the Qasid Institute and Ahlan Jordan. Samah volunteered with Madrasati, A Queen Rania Initiative, where she created and implemented interactive English games for elementary education.

As the first recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Samah plans to concentrate her graduate work on women and gender in the MENA region. She hopes to gain more knowledge on Arab-American identity, Islamic feminism, and women’s roles in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Thank you to everyone that made this possible!

 

  Samah and volunteers at the 2016 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Amman, Jordan. 

Samah and volunteers at the 2016 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Amman, Jordan.