New $4000 scholarship for aspiring journalists announced


Walter Wang

Runners for the Race to Action Rehab El-Buri 5K/10K gather at the starting line. The event, held at Peace Park Oct. 23, 2011, helped raise awareness of melanoma and fund community projects. Photo by Muhammad Al-Rawi
A new scholarship is available for students interested in attending the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
The Rehab A. El-Buri Foundation is introducing a $4,000 award for “aspiring journalists committed to the principle of justice, fairness, honest and balance in their careers,” as stated in the Foundation’s press release. The application, which may be completed online here, is due 4 p.m. Feb. 24.
The scholarship is open to students majoring in Radio-T.V., Convergence, Print and Digital News, Magazine or Photo journalism. Preference will be given to incoming freshmen, with possible additional consideration to students with financial need, women or ethnic minorities, according to the Foundation’s press release.
The scholarship “is the way the Foundation is giving back to the community,” Arwa Mohammad, a 2008 RBHS alumna, said. “There are branches in both Columbia and New Jersey, the two places that were important to Rehab, and we got together in the last six or seven months and put something together that would benefit the community, that would also help bring people together. We had our fundraisers, and this is our way of putting the funds into action.”
El-Buri graduated from RBHS in 2002, and even in high school, displayed the characteristics the Foundation hopes to see in the scholarship awardee.
“I had Rehab in my world studies class,” Jennifer Black-Cone, English teacher, said. “She was an amazing student, but what was most compelling was that while she was at Rock bridge and even after she left she would come back to the world studies classes while we were discussing the middle east and eloquently explain to our students Islam and the whole faith and their culture. She was so bright and with the world, yet still so devoted to her culture and faith.”
The values El-Buri held came from her roots. She completed her college education in Columbia, where she learned her ideals.
El-Buri “was an alumna of Mizzou, and she learned and got her passion for journalism and her commitment to some of the standards and ideals and journalism from her professors there, so we felt it was just natural to start there,” said Zayd Abbassi, chief executive of the Rehab A. El-Buri Foundation and El-Buri’s former husband. “She was a Columbia native and a Rock Bridge alumna. Although she wasn’t a public figure, she was someone who definitely just by constantly trying to do good influence just about everyone who came into contact with her.”
El-Buri was diagnosed with stage four malignant melanoma at the age of 26, and died March 6, 2011.
By Walter Wang