Emergency Fund Students Lebanon
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Emergency Fund for Students Impacted by Lebanon’s Crisis

4 min read

In light of recent circumstances in Beirut, Lebanon, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hereby announces the establishment of an emergency fund for current AUA students who have been impacted by the devastating crisis. The emergency fund was made possible through the generous support of the Manoogian Simone Foundation. 

Lebanon holds great significance for Armenia. The country was a place of refuge for many Armenians after they were displaced as a result of the Genocide. Beirut grew into a vibrant cultural hub for the Armenian diaspora, and AUA has been privileged to embrace bright students from Beirut as part of its community. Upon hearing of the devastating blast of August 4, the University grew greatly concerned for those affected. Out of this concern, AUA acted quickly and approached Christine Simone, the president of the Manoogian Simone Foundation, to create an emergency fund to extend a helping hand to Lebanese students. Without hesitation, she supported this initiative wholeheartedly.

Students currently studying in any of AUA’s bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs are eligible, even if they are already receiving some form of financial aid. AUA is excited to share that 16 students have been granted the scholarship for the Fall 2020 semester. The scholarship opportunity will also be extended to future bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate applicants from Lebanon, regardless of their ethnicity, who apply and are admitted to study at AUA. This includes those who apply for transfer (Spring 2021) and for the next admissions cycle (Fall 2021). In addition to tuition assistance, the University will offer financial aid to cover accommodation in AUA dormitories for all qualified students who demonstrate need.

Students who wish to apply for future semesters must send an email to [email protected] containing the following:

  1. Documentation of Lebanese citizenship; 
  2. Documentation of Lebanese residency address;
  3. Essay describing the following:
    1. Sources of income for the household, and the impact of the Beirut explosion on these sources of income, if any;
    2. List of assets and the damage to these assets by the Beirut explosion, if any (attach photos if available);
    3. Requested percentage of financial aid;
    4. Indication of the need of accommodations (AUA-provided dorm or housing), as well as the ability to cover the cost of accommodations independently. 

Below, some scholarship recipients share their stories.

“My name is David Hakimian. I was born in Lebanon and lived there for 26 years. Due to the ongoing crisis that the country has been facing — corrupted politicians, high unemployment rate, revolution, pandemic, currency devaluation, and finally, the explosion — I decided to move to Armenia. I hardly managed to do so, but I wanted to continue my studies in my homeland and not waste any more time or energy in a corrupt environment.

When I decided to continue my studies in Armenia, I researched universities in the country and saw that AUA was at the top of the list. I noticed the Industrial Engineering and Systems Management Program (IESM) at AUA and discovered that I could concentrate on Sustainable Operations and Resource Management. I got excited by the idea of learning more about sustainable development, alternative energies, recycling, renewable energy, and other topics. Being at AUA will surely help me gain the knowledge and experience I need to accomplish my goal of directing humanity toward sustainable ways of living.

This scholarship opportunity means a lot to me. Unfortunately, I have been through many bad experiences, but I am here now. I will do my best, until my last breath, to serve humanity and our beloved planet. Now is the time to live consciously and responsibly more than ever. I’m so grateful for everyone and the contributions you make for the betterment of our lives.”

David Hakimian — ME in Industrial Engineering and Systems Management, 1st year

“My name is Gassia Samuelian. I am a 25-year-old Lebanese-Armenian living in Armenia. All my life, I have been taught the importance of the Armenian language and heritage, and love of the homeland. I always wanted to move to Armenia. Due to the unstable socioeconomic situation of Lebanon, I finally took this huge step and repatriated to Yerevan all by myself. 

I am a highly ambitious and motivated individual, and am determined to continue my education in business. I hope to learn modern concepts for dynamic organizations and businesses that drive socioeconomic growth and innovation. In my opinion, there is no better place to learn, teach, and grow, than AUA. I am confident that through AUA, I will achieve my grand ambition of becoming a leader, scholar, and independent businesswoman at the forefront of strengthening Armenia and improving the lives of the Armenian community worldwide.

I am so grateful to have been considered for this scholarship opportunity. Back in Lebanon, I saved most of my income to invest in an advanced degree. However, the economic collapse and currency depreciation in Lebanon happened too quickly to preserve any significant amount of my savings. But I kept my head held high, and my hope in my community remained unshakable. This scholarship has awarded me an opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams, which I could not have done in the past due to a lack of finances. The scholarship is the foundation on which I base my dreams and ambitions for the future.”

Gassia Samuelian — Master of Business Administration, 1st year

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.

Media Coverage: 

[Mirror Spectator] Emergency Fund for Students Impacted by Lebanon’s Crisis