The 18 years Egyptian Mayar, who finally got her dream opportunity, has been admitted to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Physics Program for 2015/2016. Mayar is one of the two scholars won the Wilfrid Laurier scholarship. In addition to the scholarship, Wilfrid Laurier has offered her a 5000 CAD additional bonus for her outstanding grades.
After completing her Physics studies, Mayar, plans to specialize in Astrophysics, which will enable her to help future generations of Egyptian women to gain access to labs and research centres. “There are many younger researchers who are interested in Astronomy but they don’t find the opportunities for them in Egypt, so I want to create an association to empower them, using what I’ve learned in my own studies.”
Mayar’s love for physics was instilled at a young age, through her time spent working alongside her father, helping with his electronic projects (which, over time, came to include programming and constructing robots). Working as her father’s assistant, she helped him to create a science club in their city, in order to promote the idea of STEM education.
Though Mayar acknowledges she was fortunate to have had her father’s support and encouragement to pursue higher education, the knowledge that many of her peers in the Middle East didn’t have the same opportunities fueled her passion for social justice and change.
“I’ve always hoped to have the power to change my community ignorance, i.e., why should we accept the fact that it is better for girls to look after their homes and let the knowledge remain just for boys? Although that attitude is not as strong as before, you do still hear that even now in the rural areas/countryside. However, from what I’ll learn by having the scholarship and chance to change my life and pursue my passion, I’ll pass this knowledge on to girls who are taught they have a limited role in their community, and hopefully change that mindset.”
“Almost at the same age of Dr. Izzeldin’s daughter: Mayar, and holding the same name, makes me think about how great the destiny is, and I totally believe that I’ve the responsibility towards holding Daughters for Life’s message to other Mayars in the middle east. You have to stay focused on your goals and never look behind you. I’ve faced many disappointing words from the people around me to give up because I’m a girl but I’ve accepted the challenge of which my parents will be proud of me. Proud of the day they had a girl.”
Mayar explaining her project to Judges at ISEF Science fair 2013
Mayar was talking to Simone Abrahamsohn