Two Outstanding Individuals Head to Study at Oxford on Rhodes Scholarship

For Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine

(Photo: Rhodes Scholarship)
PRESS RELEASE — Two students from Syria and Lebanon have won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine this year.اضافة اعلان

They will be heading to the University of Oxford in October 2024 to join a cohort of more than a hundred Scholars from around the world to undertake fully funded post-graduate studies and become part of a strong community of people determined to make a positive difference in the world. 

The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s preeminent and oldest graduate fellowship, based at the University of Oxford since 1903. The Scholarships for the Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine (SJLP) region began in 2016 in partnership with the Said Foundation, and have been awarded to two outstanding applicants each year. 

Students from anywhere in the world can apply for a Rhodes Scholarship and many find that taking part in our rigorous selection is a profoundly positive experience which leaves them well placed to go on to a Rhodes Scholarship or other opportunities worldwide. 

The Rhodes selection process aims to choose young people with proven academic excellence who also show exceptional character, leadership, the energy to use their talents to the full and a commitment to solving humanity’s challenges.  The selection process includes a rigorous review process before the finalists interview with a selection committee composed of renowned experts and leaders in diverse fields. 

The Rhodes Scholarships for the Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine (SJLP) region have been awarded to 17 exceptional individuals.  Two more outstanding candidates will be joining them this year after another very competitive but inspiring round of selection. 

Rhodes Scholars form a lifelong community of people in many fields and careers, united by a commitment to having a positive impact on the world. Scholars from the Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine (SJLP) region have gone on to pursue careers ranging from healthcare research and neurology to public policy and international development.

This year’s winners continue the fantastic legacy of excellence.

Tatiana HouhouTatiana is a dedicated biomedical researcher and a fervent advocate for youth empowerment, research innovation, and the practical applications of science to transform lives. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, achieving Summa Cum Laude honors from New York University Abu Dhabi, where her research focused on developing targeted nanoparticle drug delivery systems for cancer while mentoring other emerging scientists. Tatiana also co-authored peer-reviewed scientific papers published in esteemed journals such as Nature Communications and ACS Nano. Beyond her laboratory work, Tatiana consistently champions the cause of addressing disparities, and her involvement in volunteer and social entrepreneurship initiatives reflects her unwavering commitment to promoting equity in healthcare and beyond. She actively participates in health-awareness campaigns, holds leadership positions in organizations like MoveMed and The Medical Campaign, and has received recognition as one of the 100 'Leaders of Tomorrow' in Biotech at GapSummit 2020.

Baher Al AbdBorn in Damascus, Syria, Baher is a politics and International Relations student at the University of Bristol in the UK and a coordinator for a regional project aiming to make legal advice more accessible for migrants in the Southwest of England. He is drawn to understanding how ethnicity impacts migrants' national identity and political behavior in host countries. Aiming to develop better integration policies for refugees and migrants, and multicultural economic development models, he intends to study an MPhil in comparative governments at Oxford to understand the institutional, socioeconomic and political factors that impact the accessibility of national identity for migrants in different countries. Before Bristol, Baher attended UWC Atlantic in South Wales and worked with various refugee support charities.

The two recipients were selected after a very comprehensive screening and selection process involving leaders, policy makers and leading academics from the University of Oxford and the region.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, said: “We are excited to see the tremendous talents of this year’s Rhodes Scholars Elect, who come from countries all around the world. We know from 120 years of bringing exceptional people to Oxford to study and build a dynamic global community, that when unlike minded but like hearted people come together, we can forge brighter futures for individuals and the world.”

The National Secretary for the region, Dr Farah Shamout commented: “Every single year, we conclude the selection process feeling inspired by the caliber, energy, and talent of finalists from the SJLP region.  The finalists illustrated extraordinary success and passion towards growth and civic engagement in the region via art history, journalism, anthropology, sustainability, life sciences, engineering, data science, politics and diplomacy, as well as entrepreneurship.  Reaching the finalists stage is no small feat and is a testament of the candidates’ admirable leadership and service in their own communities and fields. Congratulations to all, and especially the Scholars-elect Baher Al Abed  and Tatiana Houhou. The Selection Committee looks forward to welcoming them to Oxford next year to pursue their postgraduate studies. In the long term, we also hope to expand the number of scholarships for the region.”

The Trust is committed to ensuring that the world’s diversity of background and thought is reflected at Rhodes House, which has expanded the Rhodes Scholarship to include Global Scholarships and new constituencies in recent years, including West Africa, East Africa, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon & Palestine and the United Arab Emirates. 

The applications for the 2025 Rhodes Scholarships will open in June 2024. More information about the Scholarship application can be found at:

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