FCC class of ‘16 graduate, Shandana Waheed, was granted the fully funded Falak Sufi Scholarship awarded by the Hagop Kevorkian Center at New York University. This prestigious award offers a Masters degree program in Near Eastern Studies. It is highly competitive as one student out of hundreds of applicants from South Asia is selected for this honor. She began her studies at NYU in September after spending some time this summer at Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, CT. 


Originally from Rawalpindi, Shandana came from a middle class family, and was fortunate to attend school that taught classes in English. Always a good student, her family thought she might attend medical school, but she had other ideas! Her love of learning and desire to study social sciences led her to Forman Christian College. She will be the first to tell you what an accomplishment this was for her and her family; Shandana cites her parents for helping her “to become the first, not only female, but first person to attend a university” in her family. This was no small task, as this was a very unpopular decision among her male relatives, who thought she should conform to traditional Pakistani female stereotypes. Upon graduation, Shandana has this to say about how her education at Forman changed her family’s view, “many of my male cousins who were upset with my father for sending me to the university have admitted their daughters in the schools because they now have someone as a role model.” 


Shandana, a Muslim, talks about the diversity and acceptance she found at FCC when she says they are the “features of Forman that absorbs everyone irrespective of caste, color, religion and region from which you belong, because from then onwards you have a homogenous identity of being a Formanite bonded with the core values of FCC.” “In a world full of chaos, differences, extremism and, of course, terrorism we have a Formanite family that connects us all with the bond of love with equal respect and equal opportunites.”


To read more about the Hagop Kervorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University, visit:


To read more about the Falak Sufi Scholarship, visit:
Falak Sufi Scholarship

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