Ameen Rihani Organization
"We can not understand each other, if our sympathies are always safely tucked away; we can not understand each other, if our approaches are always academic or conventional; we can not understand each other, if we crawl back into our shells every time we see a worm across our path."
Ameen Rihani, 1930
.: 2005 Rihani Scholarship Recipients

2005 marked a record year in terms of applicants for the Ameen Rihani Scholarship. Over 200 highly qualified students of Lebanese and Arab descent have competed for the award which made the selection process more challenging. In August 2005, the Ameen Rihani Scholarship Selection Committee announced the recipient of the Scholarship for the year. As has been the case in previous years, the majority of applicants were Lebanese-Americans, and other Arab-Americans of Jordanian, Saudi, Iraqi, Egyptian, Syrian, Palestinian, and Kuwaiti descent competed for the scholarship. These candidates reside in 37 different states covering all geographic regions of the United States.

The Scholarship Selection Committee is proud to announce that the winner of the $1,500 Ameen Rihani Scholarship for 2005 is Kyle Haddad-Fonda, a Syrian-American of Bellevue, WA.

Kyle Haddad-Fonda Kyle Haddad-Fonda

Kyle has excelled in all his activities while in school whether they were academic or extra-curricular. His ability is legend, says his College Counselor, as evidenced by his 1600 SAT score, and six "5s" that he has received on Advanced Placement tests. His record as a student achiever is impressive with his winning of the World Geography Bee in the 8th grade, his ranking as the top student in his senior class with straight As (4.0 GPA), and his acceptance at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. One of Kyle's teachers speaks of him as being a "wonderful combination of discipline, curiosity, fine verbal aptitudes, efficiency, and resilient good nature". Another says, "He always takes the material in a new direction. This is the mark of a hungry mind that is not satisfied with mere surface knowledge". "I can think of no student I have ever taught I could commend more highly", says his History teacher. Although he is a superb mathematician, scientist, and scholar of Chinese, Kyle is most avid about studying history, law, and geography. His future is truly inspiring to project.

Kyle exhibits a sense of communal duty to those who have helped him achieve and succeed. In fact, he has returned to his grade school and has organized a complete geography curriculum for the school. He even has endowed a scholarship there from the monetary prizes he has won over the years because of his proficiency in this subject. He has worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor during the summers, and participated as a team member in his high school's Cross Country and Track & Field varsity teams. He has organized and led a school Knowledge Bowl team that ended up winning the state championship. He plays the harp in the school orchestra and at many area weddings, and plans to have a job on a cruise ship, playing his harp, enabling him to visit exotic ports and further develop his interests and knowledge.

Kyle has developed a keen interest in ar-Rabitah al-Qalamiyya (The Pen Bond), the Arab-American literary society that was formed in 1916 and of which Ameen Rihani was a co-founder. Kyle plans to enroll at Harvard in the Fall of 2005 and intends to major in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, or History. He is interested in learning more about his heritage and celebrating the culture of his ancestors, and wants to play a role in bringing a greater understanding of the positive aspects of Arab history and culture to his American society

Congratulations Kyle!