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Sheikh endowed scholarship established for study abroad students

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Sheikh endowed scholarship established for study abroad students

     Amy and Dr. Hamid Sheikh
Inspired by his mother’s strong faith and respect for education, Dr. Hamid Sheikh and his wife, alumna Amy Sheikh, CAS ’10, have made a noteworthy gift establishing the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Islamic Studies Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will support students interested in studying the history, traditions and culture of Islam, and expanding studies abroad in a Muslim country.

With their gift, the Sheikhs will be honoring the late Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh, Dr. Sheikh’s mother. Though she was schooled traditionally at home, she held a strong belief in formal education and encouraged her eight children to pursue college studies. “My mother taught us to respect all religions and learn from any source. She always recommended a combination of love, dedication, persistence, hard work and focus in order to achieve not only educational goals, but any goal in life,” says Dr. Sheikh.

Oakland University offers a minor in Islamic studies, which incorporates the study of classical and modern Islamic cultures, including its history, religion, culture and society. “Islam has a very fascinating history that many are unaware of. When Europe was still in the Middle Ages and was stalling in advancements, Muslims were making great achievements in math and science … Islam encourages mankind to seek knowledge in all areas. There have been many achievements within fields such as geography, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, pharmacology, architecture, linguistics, business, law and astronomy,” notes Dr. Sheikh.

Dr. and Mrs. Sheikh have long been impressed by the outstanding teaching quality of OU professors and the personal attention they show to students. They also understand the significant impact a study abroad experience has on a student’s overall college experience. “In the world we live in today, we have to be competitive in every aspect of education which encompasses the achievements of others. We no longer deal solely with people of similar beliefs and cultures, and we must have a tolerance and acceptance of others,” adds Amy Sheikh.