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MI Muslim Is Rhodes Scholar


NIS, Laura Lessnau A Muslim student from the University of Michigan will be a 2009 Rhodes Scholar, one of 32 men and women selecteed for the prestigious honor, which comprises a year’s study at Oxford University in England.

Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., a 2007 University of Michigan graduate now studying in the university’s joint medical-Ph.D. program in medicine and public health.

Mr. El-Sayed had also been active in student groups, including the Muslim Students’ Association.

The Rhodes scholarships are the oldest of the international study awards available to American students and provide two or three years of study.

The students will enter Oxford University in England next October.

Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.

El-Sayed was singled out for praise by former President Clinton last year when they both spoke at the university’s commencement ceremonies. Clinton said El-Sayed’s example was a good lesson for whose who mistakenly think “that we are fated to have a clash of civilizations and cannot reach across the religious divides.”

The Ann Arbor resident was among 769 applicants endorsed by 207 colleges and universities.

A total of about 80 Rhodes Scholars will enter Oxford University in England next October.

El-Sayed was the student speaker at Michigan’s graduation ceremonies in April 2007. Former President Bill Clinton, who gave the commencement address, called El-Sayed a symbol of the hope for worldwide religious understanding.

The American students will join an international group of scholars selected from 13 other jurisdictions around the world. Approximately 80 scholars are selected each year.

The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the field of study. The total value averages about $50,000 per year.

With the elections announced Sunday, 3,164 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships, representing more than 300 colleges and universities.

With the elections announced Sunday, 3,164 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships, representing more than 300 colleges and universities.

Mr. El-Sayed’s alma mater and present university is very prestigious, known as one of ten “public ivies” where for a relatively low price a student can receive the educational quality of one of the top American universities.  UM Ann Arbor has more than 420,000 living graduates.  Honorable graduates include the late U.S. president Gerald Ford. 

Including Mr. El-Sayed, the university has produced twenty-six Rhodes scholars. 

It has over 6,200 faculty members, 73 of whom are members of the National Academy, and 451 of whom hold an endowed chair in their discipline.

The university routinely has led in the number of Fulbright Scholars in the late 1990s and 2000s, and has also matriculated 25 (now 26) Rhodes Scholars.

Fiona Rose became the 24th Rhodes Scholar from UM on December 6, 1997. Joseph Jewell, a UM engineering student, became a Rhodes Scholar in 2004.



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One comment
  1. omer mohammed omer

    December 29, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    How it is Greate for muslim studentes & muslim ” A,uma”

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