Maha Hilal-2012 Recipient

Maha Hilal 150x150Maha Hilal 

Major: Justice, Law and Society
Degree: PhD
School: American University
Sponsor: Muslim Women Giving Circle


Maha Hilal is a PhD candidate in Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C.  Her area of research interest is in the field of human rights, with a focus on survivors of human rights abuses and the adverse consequences they face post-abuse.  She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has worked and volunteered at a number of human rights organizations including the Center for Victims of Torture and the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition International.  She was also a Christine Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, a Kathryn Davis Peace Fellow for Arabic study at Middlebury Summer Language Schools, and a recipient of the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic study in Morocco.  Upon completing her doctoral degree, she plans to pursue a career as a scholar-practitioner in the fields of human rights and conflict resolution.

Maha’s Message to Supporters:
I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Islamic Scholarship Fund and the donors that made my scholarship possible.  These scholarships not only succeed in helping students financially accomplish their goals, but also in giving value to their aspirations and careers, especially in fields where Muslims are most typically underrepresented.  I sincerely hope that I can live up to the expectations of the ISF and that I can help pave the way for other Muslim students to enter into fields where our representation is needed most.  Again, I would like to thank the ISF and its donors for establishing and supporting this incredible scholarship in the service of Allah and the Muslim community.


Dr. Maha Hilal is the inaugural Michael Ratner Middle East fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.  She is also an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a steering committee member of the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition.  Dr. Hilal earned her doctorate in May 2014 from the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C. The title of her is “’Too damn Muslim to be trusted’: The War on Terror and the Muslim American Response.”

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