Saudi Trio Clinches Coveted Rhodes Scholarships


This year’s Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia mark a unique occasion, acknowledging a third recipient due to exceptional circumstances…reports Asian Lite News

In a momentous achievement for Saudi Arabia, Haifa Alarrafah, Mohammed Alwelyee, and Yosef Bukhari have secured the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for the upcoming academic year. The triumphant trio is set to commence fully funded post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford in October 2024, joining an international cohort of over a hundred Scholars.

Established in 1903 and anchored at the University of Oxford, the Rhodes Scholarship stands as the world’s oldest and most esteemed graduate fellowship. The philanthropic initiative began in Saudi Arabia in 2018 with a generous contribution from Mr. Muhammad Alagil, followed by a second in 2020 from Abdulrahman Alagil Sons, co-founders of Jarir Bookstores. These endeavors, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Education, align with Vision 2030, emphasizing education as a pivotal element for the nation’s future.

This year’s Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia mark a unique occasion, acknowledging a third recipient due to exceptional circumstances. The scholarships aim to empower exceptional students from across the Kingdom, providing them with the resources to contribute significantly to Saudi Arabia’s goals under Vision 2030.

Known for its rigorous selection process, the Rhodes Scholarship identifies individuals not only for their academic prowess but also for their exceptional character, leadership qualities, and commitment to addressing global challenges. The selected Scholars become part of a lifelong community committed to making a positive impact on the world.

Meet the Distinguished Scholars:

  1. Haifa Alarrafah:
    • Clinical psychologist holding a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology from Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
    • Holds a clinical license post-internship at King Abdulaziz Medical City and King Abdullah’s Specialized Children’s Hospital.
    • Dedicated volunteer for Ehtiwaa, a non-profit organization providing essentials to those in need.
    • Pursuing the MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford.
  2. Mohammed Alwelyee:
    • Senior at Boston University, majoring in biomedical engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology.
    • Engaged in research on strategies for neural tissue regeneration post-traumatic central nervous system injury.
    • Interned with PricewaterhouseCoopers on the Saudi healthcare system.
    • President of the Boston University Saudi Cultural Club.
    • Enjoys football, hiking, and rock climbing.
    • Pursuing the MSc in Engineering Science at Oxford.
  3. Yosef Bukhari:
    • Holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and an MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
    • Currently serving as a Political Officer at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C.
    • Founder and co-president of the Abqar Art Collective based in Saudi Arabia, showcasing a passion for art and literature.
    • Intending to pursue the DPhil in International Relations, focusing on nuclear deterrence and nuclear force structuring.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, expressed excitement for this year’s Rhodes Scholars, highlighting their potential to make a global impact. Professor Christian Sahner, National Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia, commended Haifa, Mohammed, and Yosef for their remarkable achievements and anticipated positive contributions.

The Rhodes Trust remains steadfast in its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, continually expanding the Rhodes Scholarship to include Global Scholarships and new constituencies. Applications for the 2025 Rhodes Scholarships are scheduled to open in June 2024, providing opportunities for aspiring scholars worldwide. For more information, visit

For media inquiries, please contact Babette Littlemore, Director of Communications:

About the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships: The Rhodes Trust, an educational charity based at the University of Oxford, strives to forge brighter futures for individuals and the world. Established in 1903, the Trust offers a family of global fellowship programs, including the Rhodes Scholarship, producing over 8000 scholars from 50 countries. Generous contributions from benefactors worldwide support these programs, allowing exceptional individuals to serve at the forefront of various fields.

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