Ameen Rihani Organization
"True knowledge is power; but in order to feel at home with it, we must be constitutionally qualified. And if we are not, it is likely to give the soul such a twist as to deform it forever."
Ameen Rihani, 1911
.:2013 Rihani Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Rihani Scholarship Selection Committee is charged with the task of selecting the scholarship recipient for the year. It is a challenging task because of the large number of highly qualified applicants. The committee continues to be highly impressed by the caliber of applicants who have competed for this year's award. Their character, academic performance, talents, and contributions to society are exemplary which made the task for the committee that much harder. With such highly qualified applicants, the task of selecting the recipient of the Ameen Rihani scholarship remains a delight and a challenge for the members of the Scholarship Selection Committee. This year, the Committee had long deliberations resulting in the announcement of the winner of the $1,500 Ameen Rihani Scholarship for 2013 - Abrar Omeish, a Lybian-American from Fairfax, Virginia. The three runner-ups were also well qualified and deserve to be recognized accordingly. However, given the current rules of the Scholarship Program, only one individual could be chosen as the Recipient of the Rihani Scholarship.

Abrar Omeish Abrar Omeish

Abrar Omeish was born in Hackensack, New Jersey to her Lybian father and mother. She has enjoyed a cumulative unweighted GPA of 4.00 by earning straight As in all the classes that she has taken throughout her years of high school, including Algebra, Math, Physics, Chemistry and Latin classes. In addition to her academic outstanding achievements and excellence, Abrar is a students' leader and a social activist. She is the President of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council in Fairfax County, and the Commissioner on the Fairfax County Student Human Rights Commission. The former Social Studies Specialist for Fairfax County's Public Schools of Virginia had over 50,000 students from whom to select a member to be on a nationally broadcasted program, and the first student that came to his mind was Abrar Omeish. In 2010, in recognition of her academic excellence and social activism, Abrar was the keynote speaker at the annual 9/11 Unity Walk in Washington, DC and was a panelist on the Healthy Media for Youth Congressional Summit.

Abrar's activities have been covered in Time for Kids (cover page), The Washington Post, The Economist, Life Magazine, The Associated Press, CBS radio, Voice of America, and many other media. Her school counselor's testimony of her exemplary character states, "Abrar is truly one of a kind. I have never met a student so motivated in all my years as a school counselor. She displays the pure definition of resourcefulness and is never afraid to seek out opportunities and the people who will help her achieve her goals". The recommendation of the former Social Studies Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools speaks of a uniquely qualified youth leader, "Abrar has a visionary spirit like no other student I have ever worked with in my 34 years as an educator... She is a leader who has a proven track record of accomplishments and achievements".

Abrar has been accepted at Yale University and will be enrolled there in the Fall of 2013. She is interested in pursuing her studies in International Politics and Economy. Her goal is to work, one day, in public service particularly through politics, policy, and governance. She states, "I hope to work in capacities that will increase my knowledge of policy and the nation's issues, whether at a think tank, in Congress, or at the White House".

The Ameen Rihani Scholarship Committee extends its warm congratulations to Abrar!


Each year the Ameen Rihani Organization receives scholarship applications from a number of highly talented students who will be entering their first year of university studies. Since the Rihani scholarship can only be offered to one student each year, the Scholarship Selection Committee decided that, beginning with 2006, runner-ups will also be recognized. These individuals have enjoyed similar exemplary characteristics and achievements as the one who is selected as the Scholarship Recipient.

The runners-up for the 2013 Ameen Rihani Scholarship are:

Elizabeth Shaya, Lebanese-American from Baltimore, Maryland, entering Johns Hopkins University
Rahmi Elahjji, Lybian-American from San Antonio, Texas, entering Washington University in St. Louis
Sara Mikati, Lebanese-American from Cleveland, Ohio, entering Ohio State University

Elizabeth Shaya
Elizabeth Shaya
Rahmi Elahjji
Rahmi Elahjji
Sarah Mikati
Sarah Mikati

Congratulations to Abrar, Elizabeth, Rahmi, and Sarah!