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Sabiya Ahamed – 2017 Recipient

Major: Law
Degree: J.D.
School: UC Berkeley Law School
San Ramon Valley Islamic Center (SRVIC)



Message to Supporters:

Jazak Allah khair for sponsoring me as I embark on my law school career. May Allah reward you and your family immensely. As a student from a low income background, I appreciate so much the kindness and generosity which you have shown me.

To tell you a little bit more about myself – I just graduated from Brown University with a double concentration in Middle East Studies and Political Science. In the fall, I will be pursuing my JD at Berkeley Law inshaAllah. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY where I lived for all of my life before moving to Providence, RI for my undergraduate degree. Through my time at Brown, I became committed to working in social justice and public interest. I spent time working with Students for Justice in Palestine on campus, the Student Labor Alliance and Amnesty International. I was able to do work in the Providence community as well, founding an English class for Syrian refugee women who recently arrived.

In general, I am also very interested in refugee rights and I hope to delve into this further in law school. My senior thesis was about the concept of human dignity and how the US refugee resettlement system upholds or diminishes the dignity of Syrian refugees, using Rhode Island as a case study. I hope to learn more about how to work towards dignity for all when I become an legal advocate for others in the future inshaAllah. With this scholarship and my newly gained scholars network through the ISF, I can think a little less about the financial and other hardships of law school and focus more on what I need to do to give back to others, inshaAllah. Thank you again so much!

Bio: Sabiya Ahamed will begin pursuing her J.D. at the UC Berkeley School of Law this coming fall. In May 2017, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a degree in both Middle East Studies and Political Science. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Sabiya comes from a mixed ethnic background and grew up in an interfaith family. She credits her commitment to human rights and social justice to her upbringing, life experiences and her faith. Sabiya’s work in social justice began primarily while she was in undergrad, where she spent time working with Students for Justice in Palestine, the Student Labor Alliance and Amnesty International. She has experience with organizing on campus and once appearing on a local television station in Rhode Island to defend the rights of refugees. Sabiya also spent the majority of her time in undergrad serving on the executive board for Brown’s Muslim Students’ Association, where she worked to make the Muslim community welcoming to Muslims from all backgrounds. Sabiya has a prominent interest in the study of refugees and migration. She was able to study these topics and more on the ground in Chile, Nepal and Jordan. Her senior thesis, which led to her honors degree in Middle East Studies, looks at the concept of human dignity and how the US refugee resettlement system upholds or diminishes the dignity of Syrian refugees. Sabiya also began an English class in Providence that works specifically with Syrian refugee women, after she learned that some women could not attend class because they had to watch their children. With the help of Providence community members and her classmates as volunteers, the class is able to transport the women to and from class and also provide childcare. In law school, she hopes to delve further into her study of refugee rights and hopes to change the ways in which the laws and the public view refugees and immigrants. She also plans to deepen her knowledge of different kinds of public interest and human rights law.

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