Dh8.5 million fund helps Ajman University students
DUBAI // A fund that helps struggling students to pay for their education has raised more than Dh8.5 million in just one day.
The Thamer Salman Fund for Educational Solidarity was set up in June last year in memory of Ajman University’s late vice president, who died in a dune-buggy accident four months earlier. It has helped 65 students – Emirati as well as expatriate.
On Monday, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Ruler of Ajman, donated Dh3m to the fund, along with a plot of land. Mr Salman’s family contributed Dh2m, the university added Dh1m and there were further gifts from two charities, Dar Al Ber Society and Human Appeal International, and anonymous donors.
“The fund helps students with amounts to keep them going with their studies,” said Abdullah Salman, Thamer’s brother, who is assistant to the current vice president.
“For instance, it helps students who have finished their graduation but haven’t got their certificates because they haven’t paid their fees, or students who can’t pay their last semester fee. We were able to assist one third of the applicants last year. We hope we can meet all the applications. We take the decision to support students through documentary evidence and face to face interviews.
“Supporting the students when and where they are hindered not only assists them to further the course of their education but also encourages them to pursue a hassle-free path towards their goals, knowing well that the university is alongside them at the time of need.”
In addition to being university vice president, Mr Salman, who was 35 when he died, was an extremely popular and high-profile businessman and educational philanthropist, known to his many friends in Dubai and the Northern Emirates as the “Golden Boy”.
He helped many young people with their studies and finances, and was the reason they were able to continue with their education.
“When I joined the university, I kept approaching different departments for help,” said Shifa Hameed, 22, a final year BA student in business management, whose fees amount to Dh35,000 a term.
“My education expenses are high. Although my parents work at the university, we were unable to afford the fees. He paid out of his own pocket. I will graduate soon because of him.”
Mr Salman, and later the fund in his name, also supported Hiba Abdullahi, from Somalia. “My parents and I had given up hope that I could study,” said Ms Abdullahi, 22, who is in the second year of a course in business management.
“I would have stopped my education if not for him. It is really great that the university is helping expatriates as well.”
Mr Salman was killed in February last year while dune bashing with friends in Al Ain. Abdullah said the memory of his brother’s death was still fresh.
“It is just like it happened yesterday. It is hard to get over it when you have spent so much time with someone. He was my boss, my friend and brother.
“We used to spend all our time together after work. I hope he is in a better place.”
Published: May 19, 2014 04:00 AM