King Abdullah’s Scholarship Program in the UK & Eire Second Graduation Ceremony 2012

By Dr Mozammel Haque

4551 Saudis graduated from the Universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland under the King Abdullah’s Scholarship Program. "When we see all this happiness on the graduates’ faces, it delights our souls and hearts, and promises a brighter future for our country, God Willing, said the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Angari of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Second Graduation Ceremony of the Scholarship recipients of the King Abdullah’s Scholarship Program in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Angari

This Annual Graduation Ceremony, organised by the Saudi Cultural Bureau, London and sponsored by the Al-Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University Riyadh, was held at the Excel Exhibition Centre, London, which was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Nawaf, the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom & Ireland, Professor Ghazi bin Abdul Wahid Al-Makki, Saudi Cultural Attache in the United Kingdom and Ireland and Professor Sulaiman bin Abdallah Abalkhail, Rector of the University of Al-Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, Riyadh and official sponsor of the Second Graduation Ceremony and the Career Day of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah’s Scholarship Program.

More than 16,000 Saudis are studying in the Universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland under the King Abdullah’s Scholarship Program and 4551 graduated out of which 2,000 Saudi Graduates, both male and female, took part at the Second Graduation Ceremony. The Saudi Higher Education Minister said in his speech which was delivered by Professor Al-Makki, "Honouring this class of graduates of the Program as well as other classes of graduates in the rest of the world is not unusual in the history of this great entity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For its rulers have always showed us how much attention they have given education and the honour they have bestowed upon science and scientists since the establishment of this proud entity, whose light had shined in 1932, to announce the establishment of the greatest Arab unity in modern times."

The Minister also mentioned that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also realized that the process of transition to a knowledge society can only be achieved as a result of the economic and social contribution of higher education, and the commitment to follow in the footsteps of contemporary scientific progress worldwide, and to make a positive contribution in the orbit of globalization with its educational dimension.

Since the start of the Foreign Scholarship Program of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques seven years ago, this Scholarship Program has been carried out so far in more than thirty countries worldwide. More than one hundred thousand male and female scholarship recipients have been sent all over the world. This fact confirms, the Minister Al-Angari said, that the Kingdom has been able to meet some requirements necessary for growth and prosperity, and in all honesty, consistent with its urgent needs.

A large number of recipients of the Saudi male and female studying in universities and scientific research centres in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This reflects undoubtedly, the Minister pointed out, - in the best way - the extent to which the Saudi – British relations have developed, which extend over eight decades of common interests and close cooperation in all fields.

The Minister maintained, This Scholarship Program is a program of real change, which balances between the constants derived from our true religion and our ambitions, so that our beloved Kingdom will occupy a prominent position it deserves among nations.

The Minister also pointed out that "our enlightened leadership has realized with its conscious insight that building the future of our dear country is embodied in education open to all civilizations of the world, and never hesitated to do so regardless of the cost in efforts and material support."

Finally, the Minister reminded the graduates of their responsibilities and the expectations of their dedication at the service of the homeland of their parents and grandparents and also reminded them that obtaining their diplomas and the academic recognition is only a phase which allows them a chance, in the future, to express in practice their true love for their country, contribute to its advancement and progress, and be loyal to their parents and families.

Professor Sulaiman Abalkhail,

This gigantic project offered the opportunity to tens of thousands of male and female students to continue their higher education in the most prestigious universities in the world. Congratulating the graduation of a new batch of students of this program, after they graduated from the most prestigious British and Irish universities, Professor Sulaiman Abalkhail, Rector of the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, said, "You are the vanguards of our modern renaissance, whose march is being led by the just builder, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz."

Professor Abalkhail also said, "You form an integral part of a comprehensive development project, initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, May God Protect him, thanks to his profound vision - with you, for you are at its origin, its most important component, as the human development is the most important in the building process as well as in the development and modernization project, so that our country will reach the rank of developed nations."

Professor Abalkhail also said, "These students are the most precious thing we have. They are the hope of our present and future. Celebrating their success and honoring their achievement is a tribute to the homeland and the citizen. I would also like to remind them to thank those whom the credit of their success is due. Should one fail to acknowledge people’s credit would be failing to acknowledge God’s credit."

Professor Abalkhail reminded the graduates to fear God Almighty in secret and in public, and to carefully bear the trust, duty, and loyalty to your country, and to harness what you have learned at the service of your country. Your country needs you; and its development is ambitious. The leadership is looking forward to you to play your part in the advancement of your country and the contribution to its development using your ideas and knowledge.

Earlier, two graduates, male and female, spoke on the occasion and said, "Our country which gave us opportunities to continue our education and enabled us to study and research to achieve our ambitions does deserve all our praise the return of the favour to give and contribute to its renaissance, advancement and the continuing of its march towards more development."

They also pledged, "We promise God and then promise our home country to do what we can to pay off the debt, which surrounds our necks. This means that we join in the fields of employment or continue to pursue higher degrees of learning and self-development for our dear country and our good people are expecting so much from us. So please pray for us."

Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz

The Foreign Scholarship Program of King Abdullah is producing skilled graduates who are being head-hunted by Government and private companies, said Prince Mohammad bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom & Ireland to the Saudi press agency at a career day exhibition in London.

Prince Mohammad also said to SPA, this was confirmed by the participation of 35 local and international companies, universities and Saudi government ministries. He added that many male and female scholarship students have won numerous scientific awards.

Interview with Saudi Graduates

Mohammed Gammash and his wife, Mashael Al-Hussaini, completed Masters in Genetics from Bangor University in Wales and both of them are now pursuing Ph.D. degree in Genetics, research in Cancer. Both of them are from Makkah-Al-Mukarramah.

Mr. Alaa Shafie completed his Masters in Medical Genetics from Glasgow University in 2010 and now continuing his Ph.D. degree in Warwick University; whereas Faris Tayeb completed his Masters in Bio-Medical Science from the Hull University in 2010 and now doing Ph.D. in Molecular Hematology from Liverpool University.