Yemeni Fulbright Association Created [Archives:1997/51/Culture]

December 22 1997

A number of Yemenis who had studied on Fulbright scholarships in the USA met on December 15th and established the Yemeni Fulbright Association (YFA). The basic objective is to increase the opportunity for Yemeni graduate students and researchers to do studies in the USA. During the meeting, which was supervised by a representative of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the formation of the association was announced. In the same meeting, the charter was approved, and an administrative board and supervisory and control organ were elected, as called for by the law.
The administrative board consists of: 1. Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulghani: Chairman 2. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf: Secretary-General; 3. Dr. Mohammed Sharafuddin: Financial Officer; 4. Dr. Abdulrahman Abdo Rabbo: Research Officer; 5. Dr. Ahmed Al-Kibsi: Public Relations Officer. Reserve Members: 1. Dr. Mohammed Lutf Al-Iryani; 2. Dr. Abdul-Raheem Al-Selwi.
The Supervisory and Control Organ is made up of: 1. Dr. Mansoor Yassin: Chairman; 2. Mr. Ibrahim Al-Haifi: Member; 3. Ms. Ilham Fadhel: Member; 4. Mr. Abdullah Mubariz: Member; 5. Mr. Aziz Al-Haddi: Member.
The first joint meeting of the two bodies was held on Wednesday, 17th. The administrative board is expected to hold its first substantive meeting soon during the next few days in order to complete procedural matters and to start fund-raising and other work. “We are going to work closely with two American associations – Amideast and USIS,” said Dr. Al-Saqqaf, the Secretary-General. The two have been very instrumental in the birth of YFA. According to a survey in 1996 carried out by the Yemeni-American Friendship Association, another organization working for closer understanding and cooperation between Yemen and the USA, there are some 2,000 Yemenis who have studied in the USA. The majority of these have been self-financed. There are about 60 Fulbrighters on the record.
Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulghani, one of Yemen’s early Fulbrighters, indicated that US education is one of the best things we can give our young folks. Towards that end, he is going to lead a major fund-raising effort in Yemen. The association hopes to present the American Government and companies a challenge. “Given that US Government resources available for Fulbright have been dwindling, we are going to raise money to finance more scholarships. We are working on a matching basis,” added Mr. Al-Saqqaf. The matching system is such that for every YR 10 Riyals raised by Yemenis, the American side will put in one US dollar. “We are hoping to raise some US$ 100,000 to finance scholarships for the year 1998/99,” explained Mr. Aziz Al-Haddi. Mr. Adam Earli, USIS Director and Cultural Officer at the US Embassy has already pledged financial and other support for the organization. “For every YR 10 Riyals you raise in subscription fees, we will put in one US dollar,” he announced. Abdullah Mubariz, a senior officer at Yemen Airlines, was able to secure a 50% reduction for Fulbright scholars who travel on Yemenia sectors. At the same time, Amideast is working hard to secure a tuition waiver from US universities for students financed by the program.
At the moment, US Government scholarships are no more than a maximum of three per year, sometimes falling to only two. Thus, Yemeni individuals have seen it necessary to supplement these scholarships with four or five more every year in order to increase the number of Yemenis going to the USA for higher or specialized studies.