The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation Announces its 2019/2020 Class of Scholarship Recipients

The class of 2019-2020 marks the thirteenth consecutive round of scholarships to be awarded by the foundation, a testament to its dedication to educational development in Egypt and the success of its sustainable funding model. This year, 11 students have been awarded scholarships to pursue post-graduate studies at 9 top universities across the United States and Europe, bringing the foundation’s total number of scholarships awarded up to 195.

The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF), Egypt’s largest private sector funded scholarship program, announced the recipients of its thirteenth annual round of scholarships, bringing the total number of scholarships awarded thus far to 195, with 171 of those students having completed their program of studies. The 2019/2020 class of scholars was announced at a ceremony on June 10th, 2019 in the presence of government officials, business leaders, and diplomatic envoys as well as members of the NGO and academic communities.

“Education is a primary driver of social and economic development. When we properly equip our future generation of business and community leaders we can transfer the necessary skills and expertise for the benefit our society as a whole,” said Dr. Ahmed Heikal, Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings. “We believe that it is our responsibility as leading members of the business community to invest in human capital development and provide talented youth with the opportunity to gain exposure and knowledge in cutting-edge fields that they might not have otherwise had access to. It is through investing in these individuals that we as a nation can build a sustainable pathway to ensure that Egypt prospers in the years to come.”

“The return on this investment is almost instantly noticeable. Our graduates return to Egypt with a different perspective, new skills and an ability to innovate, which allows them to add considerable value in multiple sectors of our economy,” added Dr. Heikal.

Qalaa Holdings established QHSF in 2007 to provide talented students from across the country with the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Upon completing their studies, scholarship recipients are required to return to work in Egypt for a minimum of two years. Alumni have gone on to launch businesses and create value in diverse fields including education, archaeology, renewable energy and architecture.

“As firm believers in education as a cornerstone of development, we feel that QHSF has a crucial role to play in ensuring that talented individuals in Egypt are able to develop their capacities and achieve their potential by accessing educational opportunities across the globe without the worry of how to finance their studies,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holdings Co-Founder and Managing Director. “Our aim through the Foundation is to provide these students with the chance to broaden their horizons so that they can innovate and create impactful solutions that can address the challenges ahead.”

Dr. Nabil Elaraby, QHSF Chairman of the Board highlighted the impact of the foundation’s work, benefiting more than 195 students over the course of the past 13 years. “The foundation’s work is crucial to ensuring sustainable development in Egypt that will capitalize on the brightest of the country’s young talent. These are the students who will become future leaders in their communities and disciplines with the potential to transform Egypt,” he said.

To date, QHSF has awarded scholarships to students from 15 governorates across the country, and over the years the number and variety of scholarships offered through the foundation have expanded representing more than 34 disciplines and 69 different universities attended in more than 13countries.

In addition to its core QHSF scholarships, for the third year in a row, the Foundation awarded scholarships funded by subsidiaries TAQA Arabia and the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) for students pursuing graduate-level degrees in the renewable energy and petroleum related studies respectively.

ERC also awards undergraduate scholarships to local universities through its Mostakbaly program for both teachers and students. Since establishment in 2017, Mostakbaly has awarded 96 scholarships for teachers to receive high-level training in early-years education at AUC and 53 scholarships for students to attend top Egyptian universities.

“We are very proud of the fact that for thirteen consecutive years we have been able to maintain our scholarship program through QHSF,” commented Ghada Hammouda, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Qalaa Holdings. “Our percentage of female scholars is now up to 46% and we are especially pleased that we are able to further empower women and do our utmost to combat gender imbalances across all walks of society by affording this opportunity to an equal number of young men and women from across the country.”

Qalaa Holdings and its subsidiaries are committed to educational development through their offering of multiple forms of support to ensure that Egypt’s top talent is able to achieve their maximum potential and contribute to Egypt’s growth. In addition to the scholarships provided through QHSF, Qalaa Holdings and its subsidiaries also offer capacity building for teachers, educational support programs for students, technical and vocational training, and programs for school refurbishments in order to provide a comprehensive support network for improving the overall quality of education in Egypt.

This year’s class of scholarship recipients will pursue their studies at some of the world’s top universities including Cambridge University, Columbia University, the London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Manchester.

QHSF Class of 2019 – 2020

Name University Field
Fatma Abdel Fattah Columbia University MA Journalism
Karen Fanous University of Sussex MA Development Studies
Ahmed Raafat Cambridge University MBA
Menattalah Hussein London School of Economics MA Social Policy
Malak Makkar Goldsmiths University MA Visual Anthropology
Haidy El Mesiry University of Leicester MA Museum Studies
Amr Badr University of Edinburgh LLM
Noura Rizk University of Edinburgh Masters Public Health
Mark Maximos Lancaster University Msc Finance and Entrepreneurship


Maryam Gamal University of Manchester Msc Renewable Energy


Amira El Amir University of Manchester Msc Petroleum Geology