ABU DHABI // A 20-year-old economics and theatre graduate has become the first Emirati from New York University Abu Dhabi to receive the coveted Fulbright scholarship to study in the US.

Come September, Sara Bahermez will be packing her bags for Maryland to begin a two-year graduate programme at Towson University.

“I’m excited to work and study with the incredibly highly esteemed faculty members at Towson University, whom I know will challenge me toward further growth,” said the class of 2016 graduate.

The Fulbright programme was founded in 1946 in Washington DC to provide a bridge between the US and the world.

It now reaches out to more than 160 countries, with the UAE having sent its first scholar in 2006.

Ms Bahermez said the strong foundation provided by her alma mater, the Mohammed bin Zayed Scholarship and her family were the reasons she could continue her higher education.

“I look to my family, who have been incredibly supportive in my educational endeavours and who pushed me to strive toward zenith and pave my own path,” she said.

Under the scholarship Ms Bahermez’s tuition, housing, living costs and an annual round-trip flight will be covered by the US State Department.

Annually, the programme provides 8,000 grants and, of those, roughly 1,600 are US students, 4,000 are foreign students, 1,200 US scholars and 900 are visiting scholars.

Of the more than 360,000 past recipients, 54 have won Nobel Prizes and 82 have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Ms Bahermez added: “I look forward to using my higher education and Fulbright experience to be an active participant in the transformative economy and ever-growing global culture in the UAE.”


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