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Ashraf Abdelbaky

Meet Ashraf Abdelbaky. An international student studying Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle. This is his story.

Ashraf was born and raised in Egypt. He is as an assistant lecturer at one of Egypt’s state universities. He was the brains behind several students’ initiatives in Egypt and also during his one year of study in the USA. He came to Australia in October 2015 as a visiting academic and is now going to start studying his PHD at the University of Newcastle.

During his time here, Ashraf was nominated as one of three finalists in the prestigious NSW Government International Students Awards. He had previously received a UON Global Citizen Award and was awarded one of two UON Global scholarships to represent international students at the Council of International Students of Australia conference in Canberra in July 2017. He was also selected as UON Postgraduate student of the year in 2017.

"I was blessed and I am grateful for every helping hand, every encouraging message, and every soothing smile from family, friends and complete strangers."

During 2016 and 2017, Ashraf served as an Arabic community advisor in a diverse communities engagement project involving Ability Links NSW Hunter/Central Coast and the St Vincent de Paul Society. This project aimed to specifically help diverse communities identify and access suitable support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“This program gave me one more reason to be active in a very unique way. I felt I was like an ambassador serving two nations both in good faith. I was adding value and I didn’t care how big or small it was. I was able to serve and I am happy to have served.”

In recognition of his work, Ashraf received a certificate of congratulations from the NSW Minister of Multiculturalism and Disability Services.

“I could not possibly tell you how happy I am to have received such recognition”

Ashraf, also a member of the Newcastle Western Suburbs Action Committee representing UON international students and the Arab community still finds the time to help with volunteer work for Muslim and Arab community projects in Newcastle.

He has been able to undertake all of his various roles and activities while still performing strongly as a PhD candidate in English & Writing and successfully passing confirmation in October 2017.

“My PHD research project focuses on how authors use literary works to represent social, economic and political upheavals in their societies.”