The Sharjah Charitable Association is to share Dh2million (US$545,000) in scholarships among 1,500 people to encourage the study of science. The International Science Scholarships project was launched this year by Sheikh Esam Bin Saqr al Qasimi, the chairman of the office of the Ruler of Sharjah. At a ceremony to mark the first phase of the awards, Mattar bin Khalifa al Marri, the director general of the association, said this was the first year it had focused on promoting science. The organisation has offered scholarships since 2002.
Mr Marri said the association sponsored 420 students in the 2002-03 academic year, and 2,000 in 2006-07. The scholarships help young people through courses ranging from primary school to university. Many of the applicants are from low-income families. Dr Amina al Marzouki, the dean of the University of Sharjah, said several students at the university were on association scholarships and that they have greatly helped poor students, including Emiratis, to engage in scientific studies.