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Posted On: 25 May 2014 04:43 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

Students to experience top U.S research laboratories thanks to WCMC-Q

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Four Qatari high school students will soon be flying to the U.S to visit top research laboratories after winning a contest run by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q).

Fahad Saad Al Suwaidi, Mai Nasser Al Subaie, Najlaa Abdulaziz Al Thani and Noof Ali Al Mazrooei all entered and won scholarships in WCMC-Q’s annual Healing Hands Essay Competition, which this year had the topic ‘Promoting Healthy Lives’. The four will now have the experience of a lifetime as they go on a two-week, fully funded summer trip to visit prominent research laboratories at WCMC in New York and spend time with distinguished Weill Cornell physicians in major New York hospitals.

Dr. Rachid Bendriss, Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach and Foundation Programs said: “The winning students really do have the opportunity of a lifetime to experience something that money genuinely cannot buy. They will meet and talk to world-class researchers and academics in professional laboratories. I believe they will find it a truly inspirational experience that will encourage them all to forge a career in medicine and the wider scientific world.”

The Healing Hands Essay Competition is now in its seventh year. Previously only three scholarships were offered, but because of the success of the program and the huge interest from students, four are now provided.

This year there were 54 entrants in the competition who came from 18 schools. They all submitted essays that were then judged by a panel of experts from WCMC-Q. The winners were announced at an event at WCMC-Q that was attended Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of the college, and by friends and family of the entrants. There were also honorable mentions for those who were highly commended, and each entrant received a certificate of participation. Current WCMC-Q medical student Ameneh Amini, who is in the Class of 2016, gave a talk offering her experiences at WCMC-Q and telling the high school students what it was like to study at the college.

Mai Nasser Al Subaie, of DeBakey High School for Health Professions, was one of the four winners. She wrote about health issues that are problems within the Qatari population including diabetes and obesity.

She said: “I wrote about that topic because even though Qatar is the wealthiest country in the world by GDP, there are still many health issues and the greatest wealth is health.”

For Fahad Saad Al Suwaidi, who attends Nasser bin Abdullah al-Attiyah Secondary Independent School for Boys, the death of a friend from cancer inspired him in his ambition to be a doctor.

Fahad said he was looking forward to learning more about the medical profession and what studying at a medical college would be like during his trip to New York.

Najlaa Abdulaziz Al Thani, who attends Al Arqam Academy for Girls, said she would be applying to WCMC-Q when she had the chance, like all the other winners. Najlaa’s essay was about people’s dependency on social approval.

She said: “I think it’s a recurring theme in the Gulf – eating disorders, anorexia, depression, they all go back to peer pressure in society. Every time I talked about these issues with people it always came back to society.”

The annual Healing Hands Essay Competition is open to Qatari students currently enrolled in high schools. The summer research scholarship also covers the travel cost of a parent escort who will accompany the students during their travel to New York this summer.

- ILQ News -