From a modest home in Cairo, Egypt came a young girl with an extraordinary gift for science. Marwa Soliman has always been the sharpest mind in her class, scoring top grades, and sometimes even a score of 100%l. At age 14, she was chosen to speak on Egypt’s national television to advise students on ways to balance time and studies.
This shy whiz kid was soon scouted by Egypt’s top science school for exceptional students, STEM. The school chooses only 120 girls to study at their institution. Marwa’s brilliance in science and critical thinking got her the coveted spot at this school. However, the challenge of learning in English took her aback. Although, Marwa knew it was now or never. Soon enough, Marwa not only picked up the language but also won many other academic awards.
“At STEM school, my first project was to produce biogas from organic waste. We also tried to solve the water problem in Egypt by building a desalination system using graphene sheets and silver Nanoparticles. This project won us the first place in Egypt, qualifying us for the world’s biggest science fair for high school students in Los Angeles, California. There, I learned that anything is possible and the different cultures and languages of the world are actually the same in their core” Marwa share with a smile.
Today, this 19-year-old is studying biology and pre-medicine at Manhattanville College in New York.
Marwa shared her story of how she came one of our scholars, “fortunately, one of my school mates, Mayar, got the Daughters for Life scholarship to complete her undergraduate degree in Canada. At that time, I heard about the story of a strong man, Dr. Abuelaish, who lost his three daughters because of war. But in return, he decided to establish a foundation to help Middle Eastern girls pursue their dreams and give them a new life experience. I’m very grateful to Dr. Abuelaish and the Daughters for Life board for giving me this chance.”
“It is not that easy to be a young Egyptian girl who wants to study medicine abroad,” Marwa recalls. “It took me 19 years to shape my personality, interests, hobbies, and language in order to be able to do this one day. 19 years of fighting, accepting challenges, living away from my family just to one day be what I want,” says Marwa with a sigh of relief.
Beyond just knowledge, the experience of studying at a top university is instilling within her a confidence and a self-belief that girls possess the power to change the world.
“As a future physician, I hope one day I would be able to find cures for diseases, help people worldwide, and help the developing communities, especially Egyptian girls, to know that nothing is impossible. That’s my dream,” reveals Marwa.
Marwa is a true champion of the notion empowering young women through education to promote peace that Daughters for Life Foundation advocates. Marwa believes her degree from Manhattanville College will help her to build peace in the world and her home country of Egypt.
“I deeply believe that I’m a daughter for life. I want to help others and every single step in my journey is pushing me towards that goal” Marwa says with confidence.