Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi has announced the final selection of the 2010-11 class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars, comprising 20 exceptional students from higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program, which is currently in its third year, was established by NYU Abu Dhabi in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to provide high-achieving university students with a unique learning and leadership development opportunity.

The 2010-11 scholars are all bachelor's students currently enrolled in their third or fourth year of study in one of the three national universities in the UAE: United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed University (ZU), or Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). Top students are nominated by these institutions and are selected by an accomplished panel of judges after undergoing an intensive and demanding application and interview process.

"I am delighted that after yet another rigorous selection process we can celebrate the nomination of this year's Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed scholars," said Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, co-chair of the program's steering committee. "The 20 students were exceptional in what was an extremely competitive and remarkable pool of applicants.

"This challenging program offers students an opportunity to improve their knowledge, strengthen their leadership skills, and develop truly cross-cultural perspectives. As such, it is indicative of the UAE's ever evolving drive for high quality, globally relevant, higher education."

Selected scholars will participate in one of two academic courses: a course on the relationship between religion and government, as seen through the lens of the US Supreme Court, taught by NYU President John Sexton; or a class on US presidential politics and foreign policy which is co-taught by Robert Shrum, a political strategist and senior fellow at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and James Traub, a noted journalist who contributes to the New York Times Magazine and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Diane C. Yu, executive director of the scholars program and the chief of staff and deputy to President Sexton, said: "The Sheikh Mohamed Scholars represent the best and the brightest of the UAE's students; they are intelligent, driven, and passionate individuals who are eager to develop into the future leaders of their country. NYU Abu Dhabi is looking forward to taking these outstanding students on a journey of intellectual challenge, cultural exchange, and personal growth."

In addition to their academic course, scholars will participate in special English language training, enrichment programs, and a leadership development course. They will also have the unique opportunity to travel to the US to visit the Supreme Court, meet distinguished leaders, and tour NYU's New York campus. Scholars are an important part of the NYU Abu Dhabi community and regularly attend lectures and programs sponsored by the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute.

"We worked with some of the most amazing educators, and gained the wonderful experience of being the first Scholars class," said Salama Khansaheb, a member of the inaugural class of 2008-09, and a graduate of Zayed University. "Being Scholars enabled us to learn so much more than just our coursework, through taking part in challenging and stimulating debates and discussions, as well as meeting inspiring leaders and role models, which honed our critical thinking and leadership skills, as well as made us better academics."

"I take great pride in being an SMSP alumnus," said Mahaba Al Saleh, a member of the Sheikh Mohamed Scholars class of 2009-10 and Zayed University graduate. "Thanks to the program I am now more able to take on any challenge I am faced with. The program was an extremely rewarding experience, both educationally and socially, and it has opened door after door of valuable opportunities for me."

The 2010-11 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars are:

  • Ahmad Khalid Ahmad A H Abulhoul Al Falasi (HCT);
  • Amer Abdul Wahed Yousif Ahmed Al Marzouqi (HCT);
  • Amira Ragab Mohamed Abdou El Hamd (UAEU);
  • Anood Ali Abdulla Darweesh Jumah Al Mansoori (HCT);
  • Ayesha Ibrahim Ali Hasan Al Marzooqi (ZU);
  • Ayesha Saleh Hashem Ahmed Al Habshi (ZU);
  • Dawood Abdulla Husain Dardaqa Al Hammadi (HCT);
  • Eman Ibrahim Mohamed Ahmed Al Zarooni (HCT);
  • Fajer Tariq A. Al Haidan D. O H E Tariq A. Al Haidan (ZU);
  • Fatma Saqer Majid Saqer Al Marri (ZU);
  • Ghaith Ahmad Abbas Ali Abdulla Al Banna (HCT);
  • Haneen Jwid Saeed Darweesh (UAEU);
  • Huda Khamis Amer Mohammed Al Abri (HCT);
  • Maha Ali Salem Khalfan Al Dhaheri (UAEU);
  • Mariam Obaid Sultan Mohamed Al Kulai Al Zaabi (HCT);
  • Marwa Izzeldin Abdelmagid El Sayed (UAEU);
  • May Ali Khojali Mostafa (UAEU);
  • Nawal Yousif Mohamed Abdelrahim Akbari (HCT);
  • Zena Nyatichi Abdullahi (UAEU);
  • Zuhoor Mohamed Saeed Humaid Al Meqbali (HCT).

The judging panel included: H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority (ADACH), and advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, United Arab Emirates; Nadia Ibrahim, cultural specialist and senior educational advisor, US Embassy, United Arab Emirates; Mariët Westermann, co-chair of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program; Ron Robin, senior vice provost, NYUAD; Philip Kennedy, faculty director, NYUAD Institute; Mary Corrado, AMIDEAST; Anita Jardim-Spies, AMIDEAST; Jim Mienczakowski, senior advisor, Abu Dhabi Education Council; Diane C. Yu, executive director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program; Mohamed Osama Mahmoud Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, a member of the inaugural class of Scholars; and three members of the Scholars class of 2009-10, Fatma Abdulla Al Bannai, Nouf Tawfeeq Al Mubarak, and Mahaba Al Saleh.

Other members of the panel included: NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty and Administrators: John Burt, Tamu Al-Islam; Carol Brandt; Michelle DeAngeles; Renee Dugan; Bill Gallagher; Samantha Green; Sarah Hagearty-Nalbantian; Brett Heeger; Sunil Khambaswadkar; David McGlennon; Hazel Raja; and Lisa Smith.

NYU New York Faculty and Administrators: Amir Al-Islam; Lucy Appert; Ulrich Baer; Lauren Benton; Gabriel Brodbar; Patricia Morris Carey; Una Chaudhuri; Jonathan Herczeg; Rogan Kersh; Perri Klass; Mimi Murray Digby Marziani; and Angelo Pitillo.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and science college (including engineering), and a world center for advanced research and scholarship -- all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi will form the backbone of a unique Global Network University, with faculty and students from either New York or Abu Dhabi spending "semesters away" at one or more of the numerous study abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents. NYU Abu Dhabi's first students arrive this fall.