Syracuse University’s Remembrance Scholar Committee selected iSchool junior Ahmed Al-Salem as one of the 35 students who will be the 2010-11 Remembrance Scholars. The Remembrance Scholarship is one of the highest awards a Syracuse University student can receive.
The scholarships were founded as a tribute to the 35 Syracuse University students who were killed in the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The students, who were returning from a semester of study in London and Florence, were among 270 people who perished in the bombing.
“It’s a great honor to be selected as a Remembrance Scholar,” Al-Salem said. “The scholarship has an important goal of remembering the lives of those lost in the bombing. Those lives can never be replaced, neither by those responsible for it nor by those who sympathize for them. Therefore the only thing we can do is remember.
“We remember so that their hopes and dreams can still materialize in those who are living even though those who once held them are long gone,” he said. “We remember to remind the people living in the present of the dangers and consequences of terrorism so that we can help prevent another event like this from happening again. And lastly, we remember so that we do not forget the students; who they were and who they aspired to be. To be chosen as one of those students who try to make this goal into fruition in an unbelievable honor.”
Remembrance Scholars are chosen in their junior year through a rigorous and competitive process. Applicants for the $5,000 scholarship were asked to highlight their University activities, including community service. Each applicant also wrote an essay and was interviewed by members of the selection committee, composed of University faculty, staff, and students. Remembrance Scholars are chosen for their distinguished scholarship, citizenship, and service to the community.
Al-Salem is from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Niskayuna, New York. He is majoring in information management and technology. In spring 2009, he was among 13 students selected to participate in the University’s “Three Faiths, One Humanity: Interfaith Travel Study Experience,” sponsored by Hendricks Chapel. Al-Salem and the other students traveled to Jerusalem during spring break 2009.
The students, who were from different faiths, studied how Christian, Jewish, and Muslim peoples have co-existed in the region throughout history and today. They visited mosques, churches, synagogues, and other sites that have special significance within the faith traditions. Preparations for the trip included receiving lessons in each faith tradition, starting conversations about why Jerusalem is important for all three faiths, learning to embrace difficult questions, and attending lectures by SU professors on the history of the region, politics, and conflict resolution.
Al-Salem and the 34 other 2010-11 Remembrance Scholars will be recognized during a convocation ceremony in Hendricks Chapel on Friday, October 22.