Q&A with Elissa Ibrahim

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Why did you choose to study this degree?
I have been fascinated by the field of math since childhood. It has always been my favorite subject. I found myself constantly driven to expand my knowledge in it until it grew into my passion.

What is one problem in the Arab world you would like to fix and why?
The lack of unity in the Arab World. I see unity as a tool for prosperity and peace in the region. 

What would you change about the education system in the region?
If I were to modify the education system in the Arab world, I would place more emphasis on arts and music and integrate them into the curriculum in the same way that we do with the sciences and with languages. An hour or two of sculpture, music or theatre can motivate students and improve their social and intellectual skills. 

Who is a figure that you consider a mentor? Why?
This may sound cliché but my father is my ideal mentor. He overcame a lot of hardship, including losing his identical twin brother and his mother in two separate incidents. Despite everything, he always does his best to persevere in life. 

What are your 3 most important personal values? Why?
I believe the three most important values are respect, ambition and philanthropy. These three, combined, are what make human beings unique and driven to always thrive for excellence. 

Complete the following sentence: “A leader is someone who…”
A leader is someone who relies on him or herself and pushes him or herself beyond limits and boundaries, and most importantly, pushes others to succeed.

As someone who has been selected, what advice would you give to students who are interested in applying?
Dear new applicants, don't be overwhelmed when you see the application at first. I know it may seem overwhelming, but it is worth going through with it. I know I am very glad I applied and you too should try to benefit from every opportunity like this one. I believe that every student should have the right to go to college and achieve his or her dream. 

Complete the sentence: “This region needs more…”
This region needs more innovators. This is why one of my biggest dreams is to contribute something new to the wonderful world of mathematics.

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