Our Scholars

Our scholars are a central part of our leadership development work stream, which seeks to identify exceptional young men and women excelling in their respective fields of study, and to support them in their chosen career paths. Our programme awards full 1-2 year scholarships covering the core costs for each successful candidate.

2017

Aaliyah Shaikh
PhD Health Psychology, City University

With a passion for psychology and dedicated to wellbeing, Aaliyah graduated from St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge with an MEd in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Aaliyah founded the counselling service Rahmah Wellbeing. Her research interests are in intergenerational trauma and how our earliest experiences from the time in the womb impact our life development. She was previously a chaplain and holds a MA in Muslim Community Studies, and a postgraduate diploma in Social Sciences. She will now pursue her PhD research in Health Psychology and in particular Muslims experiences of birth trauma at City University.

Farhana Mayer
DPhil Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Since attaining her BA (Hons)/MA in Arabic with Islamic Studies from Pembroke College, Oxford, Farhana has held tertiary teaching positions in Qur’anic interpretation, Sufism and Muslim jurisprudence, and is a published academic researcher. She is also active in interfaith dialogue and Muslim interdenominational work. Her doctoral research at the University of Oxford will assess understandings of theological, political, legal and civic concepts in contemporary British society with focus on key British Muslim voices.

Farah Jassat
MPhil Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion, University of Cambridge

Farah studied History as her undergraduate degree at Newnham College, Cambridge. After graduating she freelanced as a journalist for various publications including the Guardian, Huffington Post and New Internationalist. She branched into broadcast media as a BBC Production Trainee and worked on TV and radio programmes including Newsround, Night Waves and Woman’s Hour, as well as Religion & Ethics documentaries. For the past four years she has worked as a Producer on BBC Newsnight. She will be studying an MPhil in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge.

Hassan Vawda
MA Applied Anthropology & Community & Youth Work, Goldsmith's University of London

Hassan is a visual artist and community arts programmer. He will be studying for an MA in Applied Anthropology & Community & Youth Work at Goldsmith’s University of London and plans to explore the potential of creative expression to create expansive faith dialogues.

Kawthar Ali
MA Counselling, Goldsmith's University of London

Kawthar has an interest in unique mental health issues faced by minority communities in Britain. She will be studying for an MA in Counselling at Goldsmith’s University of London and plans to offer specialised services to Muslim and ethnic minority communities.

Khadija Ahmed
MSc Media and Communications, London School of Economics

Khadija is the founder of AnotherLenz.com. Her explorations on Islam and identiy have been featured in The Huffington Post, Muslim Vibe, Sister-hood Magazine, BBC Radio and Ilm Feed. She will be studying MSc Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and hopes to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking.

Mirina Paananen
MSt Islamic Studies and History, University of Oxford

After completing her undergraduate studies at St John’s College, Cambridge, Mirina went on to study the traditional Islamic Sciences in Egypt, Jordan and the UK, obtaining formal authorisations including Qur’anic recitation and instruction. She is a classically trained musician who specialises in recitation, anashid and conducts a Muslim children’s choir. Her research at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford, focuses on the musical traditions of Islam.

Mohammed-Zain Dada
MA Creative Writing, Goldsmith's University of London

Zain has a BA in Politics and History at SOAS, University of London. He was a co-president of the SOAS Students’ Union during his time there and co-founded the Decolonising SOAS campaign. He is now a co-founder of Khidr Collective and will now be studying an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmith’s University of London.

Tariq Chowdhury
MA Creative Business for Entrepreneurs & Executives, National Film and Television School.

Tariq is a filmmaker whose work has been recognised and featured at film festivals, competitions and in mainstream media. He is director of a London based production company and will be studying Creative Business for Entrepreneurs & Executives at the National Film and Television School.

Martyn Rush
DPhil, Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Martyn has a BA in History and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, which was supported by Aziz Foundation. This academic year, his research at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, will explore finance issues impacting British Muslims.

2016

Thilal Halimah
MA, Psychology and Education University of Cambridge

Dedicated to equality issues existent within the education sector, Thilal has a CELTA from the University of Cambridge and both a PGCE and a BA in English Language and Communications from King’s College, London. She has worked as a secondary school teacher in London and as a GCSE examiner. She is also pursuing a diploma in Islamic Studies and Arabic.

Saqib Hussain
MPhil, Islamic Studies & History University of Oxford

After graduating from Jesus College, Oxford, in 2002 with BA (Hons) in Physics, Saqib worked as a nuclear physicist for British Nuclear Fuels before travelling to Syria in 2005 to pursue Arabic and Islamic Studies. Upon returning to the UK, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and became a Senior Associate at PriceWater Coopers LLP.

Hibba Mazhary
MSc, Nature & S.E. Governance University of Oxford

With a BA in Geography from the University of Oxford, Hibba was Community Service Chair at Oxford’s ISOC and launched a number of initiatives to enhance local knowledge about organic farming. She will be furthering her research into policies impacting food industries as part of her MSc studies in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance.

Martyn Rush
DPhil, Modern M.Eastern Studies University of Oxford

With a First in History from University College London (UCL), Martyn went on to become Ambassador of the Teach First Programme and completed an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the Oriental Institute, Oxford. He will now commence on a DPhil to explore issues impacting Muslims in the UK.

2015

Arwa Ibrahim
MPhil, Political Sociology University of Cambridge

As an undergraduate, Arwa studied International Relations and Journalism and then went on to undertake a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies. After working as a journalist during the Arab Spring as a correspondent for the American McClatchy Newspapers, she went on to work as a political journalist at the London-based Middle East Eye. Her research focus was on urban inequalities, collective resistance and the social dynamics of urban renewal in London, Istanbul and Cairo.

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