Two NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seniors, Maitha AlSuwaidi and Hoor Alnuaimi, have been selected as 2021 UAE Rhodes Scholars. They are the latest recipients of this prestigious international award, which enables exceptional students to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
Maitha AlSuwaidi, from the UAE, is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Creative Writing and Social Research and Public Policy. She is helping kickstart the Engulfed Collective, a platform that publishes intellectual and creative work on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In addition, AlSuwaidi is currently a Senior Editor of the NYUAD Journal of Social Sciences and is spearheading the creation and sustainment of the Rab3i Platform’s blog, which aims to increase the inclusion of People of Determination in the UAE. She is also a professional archer and an accredited archery coach, and has an affinity for creative expression through theater, poetry, and prose.
From a young age, mental health has played a big role in Al Suwaidi’s life. Upon joining NYUAD at 17, she was curious about mental health and realized she was not the only person in her community who was struggling to fully understand her own emotional wellbeing. AlSuwaidi then began contributing to the conversations on mental health that were happening around her and eventually led events such as co-organizing the Mind Matters Youth Mental Health Conference which is dedicated to educating UAE youth about matters such as burnout syndrome, positive psychology, and much more.
I particularly value the Rhodes scholarship, as it gives me access to the holistic education of the University of Oxford. But more importantly, it gives me access to the Rhodes community, where I can develop friendships with the ambitious global citizens, developing relationships, mutual exchanges of knowledge and camaraderie, and life lessons.
At Oxford, she aims to pursue a Master’s in Science in Evidence-Based Social Prevention and Policy evaluation, followed by a Master’s in Public Policy. Long-term, AlSuwaidi’s goal is to serve her country by leading the public mental health sector, focusing on understanding the mental health issues facing different populations in the UAE while trying to improve the nation’s collective wellbeing.
Hoor Alnuaimi, also from the UAE, is majoring in Political Science and Literature and Creative Writing with a concentration in Economics. She is currently Co-Founder and Co-President of the Mooting Student Club at NYUAD and was an author and oralist in the 2020 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Alnuaimi previously interned at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Economic and Trade Affairs Department.
Alnuaimi is interested in the study of international law and institutions, particularly the role that Arab states play in them. She is also passionate about Arabic literature, where she studies how Arabic literature encounters politics and travels across language. Her Capstone project explores the role that the UAE plays in the international humanitarian system. She is also currently working on a collection of allegorical short stories that explore different objects in Emirati women’s lives.
Oxford offers me the opportunity to continue pursuing my interests between two master’s: an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy and an MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation. As a Rhodes scholar surrounded by Oxford’s rich intellectual legacies and an impressive array of global leaders, I will continue morphing the borders between politics and literature.
At Oxford, she hopes to gain the skillset needed to navigate the underlying processes and structures of international institutions as well as develop her own translation theories of Arabic literature and gain access to a multitude of workshops and resources at the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Centre.
Established in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world's oldest and most recognizable awards for international fellowship and academic study. Applicants are selected through an intensive process including a written application and in-person interviews.