University of Rochester graduating senior Ayman Bekdash has been named a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar.
Bekdash will spend the academic year, which runs from September 2007 to May 2008, in Jordan pursuing a research project examining the opinions of secondary school students on the democratization process in their country. Ultimately, he hopes to answer the larger question of whether or not democracy can flourish in the Middle East. Bekdash, who is of Lebanese descent and speaks Arabic, will complete his work through the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, with research support from the Jordanian Center for Strategic Studies and the Civil Society Development Center. Upon completion of the program, Bekdash intends to return to the United States and pursue a graduate degree or attend law school.
Bekdash, of Cabin John, Md., is a Rush Rhees Scholar pursuing a bachelor of arts in history and political science and a bachelor of science in biological sciences/neuroscience. He is the president of the UR Model Nations and a former president of the College Democrats. Bekdash also works as an editor of the Messenger Magazine and also serves as a University Tutor.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and designed to promote mutual understanding and peace between the United States and other nations through educational and cultural exchange, the Fulbright Program offers opportunities for career-launching study, teaching, and research abroad. Scholars design their own programs and arrange institutional affiliations in the host countries. The grants cover expenses such as travel and health insurance and also provide a monthly stipend.