Two Seniors Win 2017 Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford

NYU Abu Dhabi student Dubai Abulhoul has already accomplished more at the age of 20 than many people do in a lifetime of academic pursuit and service to their communities.

She is a bestselling author and journalist, college senior who's deeply involved in Emirati youth community initiatives, and will soon be studying for her master's as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. And that's not all.

She also won the top prize at the UAE's 2016 Young Arab Awards — a celebration of young leaders ages 18-30 that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and medicine, entrepreneurship, sports, social media, journalism, and philanthropy.

Thomas Fletcher, NYUAD visiting professor and one of several panel judges, presented the first-ever Young Arab of the Year Award to Abulhoul at an event in Dubai and said, "We have chosen her ... because she has been so successful in so many different fields:

  • An author of the first Emirati fantasy novel in English, a bestseller;
  • A humanitarian who has volunteered here in the UAE and overseas;
  • A future leader — the youngest person on the Dubai Government’s list of the 100 most influential Emiratis;
  • A journalist who has published articles encouraging people to read more, to debate, and even to question their professors and I am one of them;
  • A citizen who is a member of the Emirates Youth Council and has worked at the UAE Mission to the United Nations and United States."

Abulhoul, Class of 2017, is majoring in political science and currently researching the effect of gender roles and culture on political participation in the UAE as part of her senior Capstone project.

By Andy Gregory, NYUAD Public Affairs