Darah Al Shalabi, Jordan

Social Sciences

McMaster University, Canada

Year of Graduation: 2021

Growing up in challenging circumstances, Darah has worked extra hard to carve out a bright future for herself. Despite the financial troubles in her home, Darah never gave up on learning. She says, “My parents raised us to fight for your existence and to overcome hardships and to open our minds to the beauty that life can give to true and honest hearts.”

The ever optimistic Darah went on to secure a prestigious scholarships to learn English and Computing at the King’s Academy in Jordan, and to join Jubilee School for gifted students. Darah is more than her academic career however, and shines at theatre, athletics and football. “After high school, I attended a music institute that trains intellectual students for free. Now, I practice playing the violin, I tutor three elementary school kids and I also teach English to the young daughter of our Syrian refugee neighbor,” says Darah.

Today with the help of the Daughters for Life Foundation, this exceptional girl’s dream to study Social Sciences at a world-class institution has been fulfilled. She has received a full scholarship from the foundation to study at McMaster University in Canada.

Darah wants to use her scholarship to motivate girls and young women in her home town and help them discover their potential. “I will encourage them to find ways to challenge obstacles and to overcome them by raising their self-esteem and setting higher goals for themselves. Through success, girls and women become more capable of convincing their families of their potential. I was able to overcome many societal and familial restrictions in life through my achievements.”

Darah says she is fueled to achieve success by the unjust mindset towards women that prevails in the Middle East. “I want to help enhance people’s understanding of the importance of us women, as we deserve to have more freedom in participating openly in our societies,” she adds.