Doha: Four Qatari high school students will soon be flying to the US 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 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 honourable 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. “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.”
The annual competition is open to Qatari students 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.