كتب Mostkbl Admin
19 مارس 2018 2:20 م
the Prince of Wales welcomes Al-Azhar students to his home at Clarence House
HRH the Prince of Wales opened the doors of his London residence to six Egyptian scholars from the UK-Al Azhar program, to share ideas on religious tolerance and counter extremism efforts. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who holds an honorary doctorate from Al Azhar for his work to encourage inter-faith dialogue, is Patron of the Scholarship’s Fundraising Campaign.
The Religious Studies scholarship was established in 2015 by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayed, and the British Ambassador, John Casson. It aims to foster dialogue between cultures and faiths in order to strengthen renewed and positive religious voices in Egypt and around the world. Since 2016, six scholarships have been awarded, and each scholarship is worth up to £170,000 per candidate.
The six students are Mariam Shehata, Mohamed Gamal, Mahmoud Afifi, Doaa Baumi, Mohammed Al Marakeby and Rawdah Fawzy. They are currently studying for their PhDs at prestigious British universities including SOAS, King’s College London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Lancaster. The reception was also attended by British Ambassador to Egypt, John Casson and a number of supporters of the program.
The UK has a longstanding partnership with Al Azhar. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the British Council’s programmes with Al Azhar, which include supporting the AL Azhar English Language Training Centre and building the capacity of Al Azhar to support the professional development of their primary and secondary school teachers. A number of British students currently study at the university. Al Azhar also recently hosted a group of British diplomats to further their understanding of Islam.
British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said: “Empowering young and positive voices is a crucial part of global efforts to combat extremism. That’s why the UK-Al Azhar scholarship program is so important. We’re proud to partner with Al Azhar to encourage dialogue and support young faith leaders like the six Egyptian students here today, in order to promote the values of peace, openness and tolerance.”
The director of the British Council in Egypt, Jeff Streeter, said: “More than a decade of patient work is coming to fruition with a deepening friendship between the UK and the Islamic scholars of Al Azhar. Through our English teaching work we can help Al Azhar scholars express themselves in international circles and contribute to a greater global understanding of Islam.”
So far, the scholarship has been generously supported by a number of donors, including Assem Allam, Khaled Azazy and the CIB Foundation. This year two new donors, Basil El-Baz and Tawfiq Diab, generously partnered with the scholarship program. This is the first step in a campaign to raise a further £2m to provide for 15 more scholarships over the years to 2025.