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Afghan Laila Qiamudin wins this year’s annual IHC scholarship

The International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC) and the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) have announced laureate of the “IHC scholarship in the Master of International Relations” for the second consecutive year.

After a thorough review of 19 applications, Laila Qiamudin emerged as the laureate of the scholarship, given her academic performance, interest in humanitarian action, and the quality of her application essay. Qiamudin will receive full funding for UOWD’s Master of International Relations program. The International Humanitarian City hosted the award ceremony in the presence of UOWD President Professor Mohamed Salem and Dr. William Gueraiche, Program Director of the Master of International Relations.

The scholarship is available yearly, the result of a partnership between IHC and UOWD to offer an in-depth understanding of the relations between nations and regions across areas such as globalization, diplomacy, economics, international law, labor migration, culture, media, environment, and security within the context of humanitarian work.

The announcement of the award comes at a time when the world is facing increasing challenges in addressing multiple enduring and emerging humanitarian crises.

 “This is a whole-of-IHC endeavor to promote excellence in the humanitarian field by providing access to knowledge and expertise in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC. “Education and humanitarian work are a key foundation of the UAE leadership’s vision, and this partnership mirrors our commitment to it. As a pioneering humanitarian hub in Dubai and a key international humanitarian assistance facilitator, we support the efforts of the whole aid community in emergency preparedness and response, innovation, and sustainable actions. We also aim to develop future leaders in the humanitarian field.”

Professor Mohamed Salem, President, UOWD, said: “This collaboration between a parastatal entity and a higher education institution is a way to deepen the SDG n° 17 (Partnerships for the goals). We have notably tried to promote one of its sub-targets, “effective partnership between the public and private sector.”. Indeed, since we began to work together, we have shared resources and experiences. Both our students and different members of the IHC community have benefitted enormously from this close cooperation.”

Dr. William Gueraiche, Associate Professor and Program Director of the Master of International Relations at UOWD, said: “The collaboration between IHC and Wollongong University has reached a new level. IHC has become a meeting place for professionals in the non-profit and higher education sectors. Sharing resources has helped both organizations to benefit from our diverse and complementary experiences.”

Laila Qiamuddin is an Afghan national. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UAE University in Finance and Banking. Upon completing her master’s degree, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and work with renowned international organizations. When asked why she was so passionate about pursuing a career in the humanitarian sector, Laila said that it was about making the world a better place: “As a foreign child in a foreign land, I believe in diversity and creating peace and prosperity.”

In early 2020, the International Humanitarian City and the University of Wollongong in Dubai signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and draw on academic and field perspectives to strengthen engagement in humanitarian work, given the ever-changing needs of the sector.

The partnership between IHC and UOWD facilitates the transfer of knowledge. It raises awareness about critical humanitarian issues as well as the humanitarian work of the UAE through IHC, the largest humanitarian logistics hub in the world.

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