Noor Ali (2011-2012)
Noor Ali was awarded the Hopes Scholarship at age 21, in her final year of study majoring in Applied English at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid. Residing in Zarqa Camp in a household with 7 other family members, her father was the only one with work and his income was very inconsistent. Her mother is her role model since when the family moved as refugees from Lebanon and then to Jordan she sacrificed so much to keep caring for her children, and always made sure they were all educated and loved. Her greatest strength is her natural sense of leadership, and since she graduated she has been employed as head of the HR department in a company called Andalus, located in Irbid. She has been a volunteer in her community and also worked in a project with the Danish NGO Action Aid. She loves to exercise, watch movies and wants to develop her reading in her free time. We are very proud of Noor as our very first successful graduate.
Aya Barakeh (2012-2013)
Creative, caring and conscious; Aya is someone who exudes a confidence that can calm the nerves. After having been awarded the Hopes Scholarship in her last year, and completed her degree in Child Development at Al Yarmouk University, she says she sees herself working inside the camp itself. Her purpose of study in this field is to be able to support youth in obtaining education and learning healthy habits. She learned this sort of encouragement from her own parents that she says are more like siblings to her, always helping and understanding her. A natural born leader, she also has a design mind when it comes to creating interactive teaching tools and non-formal methods of education. She goes out of her way to personally help those directly around her in consoling, advising and offers all her insight to be shared. She perceives employment not just as a means for income, but also as empowerment for women in and of itself.
Ibtihal Hassona was awarded the Hopes Scholarship in the Pilot year of 2011-2012 for her first year as a University student. She came from a household of 10 people with only one working parent, in a tiny home inside of the Gaza Refugee Camp of Jerash. She is the eldest of her siblings and has been juggling being a leader at home whilst also finding the time to study. In her Tawjihi year she considered her perseverance her greatest asset since she never gave up and continued to carry the load of housework, helping in raising her 7 siblings, and also achieving great grades. She never loses hope, and says that no matter what problem faces her there is always a solution waiting to be found. She pays very close attention to any successful person she meets and tries to learn the skills that helped him/her achieve that success. She believes that education for women is extremely important since it is the intellectual strength that gives them the weapon of knowledge an enables them to steer their lives. She had chosen to major in English but by her second year she switched to Arabic because she was honest with herself and wanted to do what she was passionate about. She loves to write and read, and shares her books with her cousins so that they may also learn.
Amal Al-Khawaja is 32 years old and was awarded the Hopes scholarship in her third year studying English Language and Literature at the Al-Albayt University. She expresses great regret that when she first graduated high school she did not pressure her family in allowing her to go study at the University in Irbid. At the time, she settled for a diploma, however she never felt it was too late to upgrade to a BA. Much like her role model, Oprah Winfrey, she has faced many obstacles in her life, sacrificed and struggled, but in the end has risen above them all with resilience. She has been a volunteer for five years with the UNRWA project “Marka Together” and finds herself as a messenger many-a-time in her life situations. After graduation she hopes to persue a job as a translator or go into the television industry.
Ibtisam Abu Jafar
Ibtisam believes that to help her community she must first begin by helping herself. After 15 years away from school, she has been excelling and enjoying her Finance major at the University of Jerash. Ibtisam was awarded the Hopes scholarship in her last year whilst her energy was beginning to shift to a focus on employment. She wants to work her way up in a bank, but says it will be difficult to be hired in Jordan due to her non-status as she lives in the Gaza Refugee Camp. However, she still has a positive outlook, looking further than the borders and planning to try to go to work in Qatar. She wants to be able to give back to her family of 12 that live off of 100 JDS a month, and to her community by helping others find jobs as well. Acknowledging that the worst enemy for a woman is ignorance, she takes each step like her father advised her before he passed, ‘with purpose and strength’. Her role model is Queen Rania for being educated, caring and balancing community, career and family.
Fearless Enas would love to break the defeatist stereotype that because she is from a Refugee camp (Zarqa) that she is helpless. With a role model like Ghandi, whom she admires for his non-violent methods, she too wants to aid her community locally and at large. She sees her degree as a great weapon to face the world with, no matter what her vocation might be. She volunteers at the Women’s Union and is looking to foster her strength as an independent woman that can sustain herself and help others through her stability. She was awarded the Hopes scholarship in her third year at the Hashemite University, with an 88% average in the study Finance, she envisions working at a bank, being respected as an employee and having the opportunity to interact with people from many walks of life. She believes every person should be the change they want to see in the world, and intends on living by that attitude.
Esra Abu Chaleh
Esra’ has a passion for developing education to cater to children with disabilities and learning challenges. She noticed in her last year of high school that there was a fellow student with a problem, and tried to rally teachers to give her special attention. It was then that she realized that the country is lacking in provisions for those who struggle with school. Since then she embarked on a degree in Early Childhood Education at the Hashemite University and was awarded the Hopes scholarship in her second year. During one of her courses, she went out of the curriculum to research the suitable psychological methods to deal with disabled and learning challenged children. She sees the kids of the Zarqa camp on the streets and says this is not their rightful place. She has ambitions of reforming the school in the camp, making classrooms less crowded by creating two shifts, so that each teacher can focus on his/her students and give them the attention and care they need. She even has ideas for training parents in skills to help them identify and properly treat children with disabilities. Her vision for the needs of education and community are progressive, and with a completed degree she hopes to one day be a headmistress of a school to be able to improve the system on a large scale.
Nadeen is an enthusiastic student of Chemistry at Yarmouk Univeristy, and was awarded the Hopes Scholarship in her fourth year of studies. When asked about her plans, Nadeen shared that she has high ambitions of doing her Masters in Pharmacy and pursuing a career in that industry so that she can help heal the sick . Coming from a household of 7 family members in the Jerash Refugee Camp, with an income of only 200 JDS a month, the siblings have worked out a system of cooperation; taking turns between who can study per semester and who will work to support the others. It takes Nadeen 3 buses to arrive at her campus and she works extra hours tutoring younger Chemistry students even while she herself is a full time student. Her drive has also motivated her to volunteer and teach at Markaz Hilal El-Akhdar. A hard working but timid young woman, she is eager to learn and enjoys reading true stories on her spare time, with the purpose of extracting life lessons related to her obstacles. Her true role model is her mother; for her strength to persevere through the tribulations of life, and sacrificing to help with the family income (having to resell chips and candy for example).
Hala Abu Al Haija
When Hala won 1st place in an English writing competition, she began to realize she was capable of anything she set her mind to. A positive, warm and bubbly personality proved to be full of strength when she took on a position in a Global Internship Program at Migrate through Hopes this past summer. Her resilience shone through when she tackled awkward situations with grace and kept her motivation high, her eyes set on soaking in as much as she could from the experience. She even made it out to play women’s soccer with some of the international interns! A natural leader, Hala ventured out of the traditional majors and chose to study Marketing, acknowledging the power of the media and communication. She had a rough start as her family could not afford to send her to University in the first year, and now she feels gratitude for every semester she is able as she was awarded the Hopes Scholarship in her second year. She has her own dream of starting a Charity for her community, and has already begun rallying other students to take part with her. In a household of 6, in the Irbid Refugee Camp, with an income of only 160 JDS monthly and an ill father, Hala has many challenges, but faces them with a smile that infects a whole room.
Eman Al Madhoun
For 29 year old Eman, who has been studying Computer Programming with an average of 91% before being awarded the Hopes scholarship in her last year, it has been a long hard road to a degree. Previously married in Gaza, when she became divorced she had to come back to her family in the Irbid Refugee Camp, without her 6 month old baby girl. Her daughter is now 2, and she dreams of one day returning to see her and to help the people in Gaza. For a woman with such a history, she has a calm and strong demeanor, learning from her regrets instead of dwelling on them. She wants to follow the example of her Dean who provided her with great encouragement and support in pursuing education and believing in herself. She sees womens’ employment as crucially important for independence and freedom. Her father has been paying for her tuition by taking out loans and borrowing from friends, making her feel that he has really put himself on the line for her. Her goal is to work to be able to pay off all his debt and also to sustain herself and benefit others. She envisions working with UNRWA, or another relief agency, where she can help her community at large and perhaps one day make it back to Gaza.
Eman Ali Abu Zohair
Eman’s brother was dead set against her continuing her education. He had forced her to wear Niqab and told her that her place was at home. Luckily for Eman, her father had no objection to her study, and so she mustered up all her will power and pushed on through, with her brother now not speaking to her parents because of their decision. She was awarded the Hopes Scholarship in her second year of Child Development studies at Balqaa University. She studies late at night, as during the day she helps her mother with the house work, and her father farming in the fields. Her family has 9 members and they barely survive off of 100 JDS/ Month. She dreams of returning the gift of learning by teaching others, weather it be her own siblings, private tutoring, or even her children. She wants to work hard to prove that she can be something, that no one or no thing can prevent her from being successful and useful, even outside the household.
Highly qualified, multi-talented and charismatic, Gulfidan leaves a memorable first impression. Coming from a mixed race background, she surprises you with her excellent English and worldly experience. She was awarded the Hopes Scholarship in her last year studying Biotechnology at the Hashemite University, and she already has a diverse resume including: having worked at the Center for Disease Control as a Project Coordinator, participated in the Commission on the Status of Women, been to New York to represent her research on women in rural areas, and taken part in the “My Identity” program with UNICEF. Most recently, Gulfidan was one of the two selected from the Hopes applicants to take part in a Global Internship Program at Migrate this summer. She showcased a high level of skill and learned much about the business world, which she can take back to her field of interest. Living as a powerhouse, this young woman was paying for her own tuition by holding jobs while studying, or taking time off school to work and then come back and continue. She is also helping to fund her brother’s higher education. Her goal is to work in a lab in which she can work on providing organs for the needy, she sees a bridge between social work and science that can enable her to help people with their health and well being.
Ghaid’a Abu Eid
Ghaida loves learning about other cultures and says English was her favorite subject because through the language she was “taken to a different world”. When she met two exchange students (one Turkish and one American) they became close and she was able to feed her curiosity about the differences between people and what makes them all so similar. When she was awarded the Hope Scholarship in her third year at the Jerash Private University studying Chemistry, she has big dreams of completing a PHD and one day becoming a Professor at a University herself. She loves her subject because she wants to be able to create medications with less side effects and improve health the of ill people with her scientific knowledge. With a passion for reading, she would love to meet J.K Roling and ask him how he became successful when he came from such a poor background. She emphasizes how important it is for women to study and work, and would like to create a program in the Gaza Refugee Camp to help change the mentalities of parents who deny their daughters education.
Yasmeen Abu Msalam
Yasmeen Abu Msalam considers herself a great at learning and loves to pass along knowledge that she acquires by teaching other members of her community. She has an avid love for reading in her pastime and she admires her mother for having been a volunteer for 30 years now as the President of the Women’s Center, teaching sewing to young women and then becoming the Headmistress of the local Nursery. She aspires to use her education to enable her to become more active in her community and to benefit herself, her family and her society at large. She chose to study MIS at Khawarizmi College because she recognizes it is in high demand and hopes to continue afterwards to obtain a BA in the same study. Living in the Gaza Camp with five other family members in her household surviving off of one hundred and fifty dinars her father makes as an electrician, she knows that her one chance at obtaining higher education is through a scholarship which she promises she will prove her appreciation for through her high performance.