The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation Sustains Scholarship Program for the Fourteenth Consecutive Year Amidst Pandemic and Challenges Facing Education Across the Globe

QHSF Announced its 2020-2021 scholarship recipients; the awards represent the Foundation’s resilience and desire to maintain a sense of continuity despite major challenges in education brought about by COVID-19

The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF) announced the recipients of its fourteenth annual round of scholarships. QHSF is Egypt’s largest private sector funded scholarship program for outstanding Egyptian students seeking to pursue post-graduate studies at some of the world’s leading universities, on the condition of returning to Egypt and contributing to its economy.

To date, QHSF has awarded scholarships to 198 students in total and has generally granted 15-20 scholarships, on average, each year for the past 14 years uninterrupted. However, with the disruptions that have resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including travel restrictions, delays in document processing and the inability to conduct in-person classes at many academic institutions, the Foundation has elected to limit the number of recipients for this year’s class to three. The reduction in the number of scholarships aims to curb the effect of potential disruptions to programs of study which may leave students with the inability to reap the full benefits of their experience.

The three recipients of this year’s scholarships will be pursuing post-graduate studies in the United Kingdom in the fields of finance, psychology and law at London Business School, UCL, and Queen Mary University respectively.

“Our mission through the Foundation is to invest in the development of talented youth with great potential who will one day become business leaders in their respective fields and shape the future of our country,” said Ahmed Heikal, Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings. “Qalaa Holdings and QHSF remain as committed as ever to promoting the foundation’s work by further investing in education, which we view as a key pillar to Egypt’s sustainable socio-economic development.”

“The Foundation’s decision to limit the number of recipients this year was due to circumstances beyond our control and the general environment of uncertainty that has prevailed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holdings Co-Founder and Managing Director. “Our ultimate aim is to offer the scholars an opportunity to broaden their horizons not only through their studies but through their overall experience, which may not be possible with travel restrictions and online learning. We are nonetheless pleased to be able to continue with the program on a smaller scale during this exceptionally challenging year.”

“Over the years we have managed to endure much upheaval, but we have remained committed to our mission despite the challenges and I am confident that we will be able to make it through the current turbulence. We hope to compensate for the limited number of scholarships next year as things start going back to normal, by increasing our number of scholars to allow more talented individuals to benefit from this opportunity,” said Yasmine El Dorghamy, Director of QHSF.

QHSF, which was founded in 2007 with an endowment that ensures its sustainability, seeks to offer promising students from across the country the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Following the completion of their studies, QHSF scholars are required to return to Egypt to work for a minimum of two years. The foundation’s alumni have since launched businesses and pursued careers, creating valuable impact across several key fields including education, architecture, renewable energy, and archeology, among others.

“Qalaa Holdings is a firm believer in human capital development and education as the key to sustainable development. In addition to the invaluable role that QHSF has played over the years to support the aspirations of our youth, we have maintained a number of initiatives to promote educational development across Egypt. Alumni of our programs have graduated to become pioneers in cutting-edge business and cultural initiatives that are reshaping the face of entrepreneurship in Egypt,” said Ghada Hammouda, Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer at Qalaa Holdings. “Despite the challenges and limitations that we are currently facing due to COVID, it is extremely important to have continuity and maintain all of these programs in some capacity until things once again return to normal”

“It is notable to mention that we ensure inclusiveness and gender parity across all our social development programs. QHSF’s 198 scholars represent a diverse cross-section of the Egyptian society with an equal number of scholarships awarded to males and females from 15 governorates across Egypt who have pursued studies in more than 34 disciplines at 69 of the world’s most renowned universities in Europe and the United States,” she added.

QHSF Class of 2020 – 2021

Name University Field
Omar Taha London Business School Masters in Finance
Carla Khoury University College London Masters in Child Psychology
Mahmoud Gamal Queen Mary - University of London Masters in Law (LLM)

The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (formerly the Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation) helps bright Egyptian students pursue graduate degrees at elite international institutions on the condition they return to Egypt to work following graduation. The Foundation was established in 2007 by Qalaa Holdings, an African leader in energy and infrastructure. For more information, see

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Qalaa Holdings builds responsible and sustainable businesses that add value to the economies and societies in which it does business. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, Mining and Printing & Packaging. To learn more, please visit

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer
Qalaa Holdings (S.A.E.)

Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002

Twitter: @qalaaholdings