Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, a long-term supporter of the American University in Cairo (AUC), has established a scholarship in his name for students from rural areas in Egypt - especially children of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian migrant workers who were kidnapped and killed in Libya by ISIL. Joanna Andrews reports.
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor may have not gone through the traditional education system when he was a boy, but he understands and values the importance of education - especially for those that cannot afford to pay for it themselves.
This is why he has setup a scholarship in his name at the American University in Cairo (AUC). The University announced the establishment of the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship at a ceremony on Monday February 23, 2015. It will allow 10 outstanding Egyptian students from throughout Egypt to study at the respected university.
“In establishing this scholarship, I have a dream to one day see the children of the 21 Egyptians brutally murdered in Libya receive the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship,” said Al Habtoor. “It is only through the light of education that we can overcome the darkness in the world. This scholarship programme will ensure that the bright and deserving children of Egypt, from every corner of the country, have the best education possible to build their communities, their country and our region. I am a believer in the value of education and its ability to transform the world.”
Once the programme is fully funded, one student will receive a scholarship each year and one will graduate, maintaining 10 Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship students at AUC in perpetuity.
The scholarship fund agreement was signed at a ceremony hosted by AUC President Lisa Anderson at AUC New Cairo, attended by Al Habtoor. It was followed by a press conference. Also present was Amr Salama, AUC Counselor; Mahmoud El Gamal, AUC Provost; Tarek Shawki, Dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering; Brian MacDougall, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance; Dina Abulfotuh, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Communications and Khaled Dahawy, Vice President for Student Affairs.
“The establishment of Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship is a great investment in Egyptian youth, who will come from the far corners of Egypt for a life-changing opportunity at AUC. Outstanding and deserving students will have the chance to follow their dreams and acquire the expertise, knowledge and education to become engaged citizens of their communities and the world,” said Lisa Anderson, AUC president, in the signing ceremony. "We are grateful to Dr Al Habtoor, a longtime friend and supporter of AUC, and a remarkable philanthropist, for his vote of confidence in the University. His dedication to youth and transforming the future through education is inspirational for us all."