Four more young women from the Middle East will attend New College of Florida this fall on full four-year scholarships as the new class of Daughters for Life Scholars.
The Daughters for Life Scholars program is a partnership between New College and the Toronto-based Daughters for Life Foundation, and is supported by hundreds of people in the Sarasota and Manatee communities.
The program’s intent is to educate and prepare young women from countries across the Middle East to become leaders, who can return to their home countries as leaders dedicated to peace and the improvement of the quality of life. They also bring diversity and an important perspective to the students of New College.
“Our first class of Daughters for Life Scholars became energetic and engaged members of the New College community. We’re thrilled to have another group of brilliant, committed young women come here to continue their learning and personal growth,” said New College President Don O’Shea.
“The education of women is the way to achieve a sustainable, peaceful, free, and healthy world. Proudly, this is being realized in the cherished partnership between New College of Florida and the Daughters for Life Foundation,” said Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, founder of the Daughters for Life Foundation.
Dr. Abuelaish is the author of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, which he wrote in response to the death of three of his daughters, killed by Israeli shelling in 2009. The book, a call for forgiveness as the first step toward peace, has been translated into 17 languages. He has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He created the Daughters for Life Foundation to provide hope and education to women of the Middle East. It has provided dozens of scholarships, fellowships and awards since 2011.
The following women are the new class of New College’s Daughters for Life Scholars.
Jaida AbuKhader is from Amman, Jordan, and graduated from Amman National School, and also attended high school in New Mexico via an exchange program. Her teachers describe her as having “energy and an open-minded, optimistic attitude towards life and knowledge,” and “a golden touch when it comes to bringing this world together.” She was president of the student government, a literacy volunteer and a sprinter with the track and field team. Jaida speaks Arabic, English and French, and plans to pursue international and area studies at New College.
Rozana Jaber is from Jerusalem, Israel, where she graduated from Saint Anthony’s Coptic College, a secondary school. A teacher described her as a “peacemaker” and “passionate about the truth.” At her high school, Rozana participated in Model United Nations and was captain of the soccer team. Rozana speaks Arabic and English, and her academic plans at New College include computer science and international and area studies.
Simona Rahi is from Jounieh, Lebanon. She graduated from Antonine Sisters School, Ghazir, Lebanon, where she won an award for being the top sciences student. She also attended a high school in Vermont via an exchange program. While in Lebanon, she volunteered as a tutor and with various non-governmental organizations. Simona speaks Arabic, English and French, and plans to study science and public policy at New College.
Diana Tarazi is from the Gaza Strip and graduated from Abdul Hamid Sharaf School in Amman, Jordan, where she was described as a top student and “conscientious, creative and concerned about societal and cultural matters.”   She participated in the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference and the INJAZ Organization for career guidance, and also established a peer tutoring program and was in the dance program and soccer team. Diana speaks Arabic and English, and plans to study computer science at New College.
The scholarship program covers all costs of pursuing a bachelor of arts degree at New College, including tuition, room and board, books, lab fees and supplies. The Daughters for Life Foundation also provides for the cost of the student to travel home and return to college once a year.
The Daughters for Life Scholars meet all academic requirements of other New College students, including the provision of SAT or ACT scores, and have demonstrated proficiency in the English language.
David Gulliver, New College of Florida, 941-487-4154
Jacklin Ibrahim, Daughters for Life , 416-640-0246,
New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 38 states and 20 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.
The Daughters for Life Foundation, founded by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, is dedicated to the belief that lasting peace in the Middle East depends on empowering girls and young women through improved education and health, to develop strong voices for the betterment of life throughout the Middle East. It provides awards, scholarships and fellowships to women from across the Middle East.

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