East Amherst, N.Y., resident Hyder Syed, who earned his undergraduate degree in international studies from The Johns Hopkins University in 2006, has been awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Student Program for the 2007-2008 academic year. He is one of 17 Johns Hopkins students and graduates so far this year to receive a Fulbright grant, one of the most prestigious awards in academia.
Syed, 23, will travel to the Netherlands to enroll in the master's program in conflict studies and human rights at Utrecht University and to volunteer at the Dutch Interchurch Peace Council in The Hague. He will also research viable approaches to conflict resolution and the promotion of human rights in Kashmir, where he was born and where many of his relatives still reside.
Of Kashmir, Syed said: "Many of the world's most respected human rights agencies have reported that in the last decade alone, tens of thousands of Kashmiri civilians have been killed by military and paramilitary forces or militants, and that a much greater number have been illegally detained, beaten, tortured, raped or subjected to other atrocities. Regrettably, several of my close relatives are included in those statistics."
Created in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills. The program awards approximately 1,000 grants annually and currently operates in more than 140 countries. Successful U.S. applicants utilize their grants to undertake self- designed programs in a broad range of disciplines including the social sciences, business, communication, performing arts, physical sciences, engineering and education.
Syed's parents, Abdul Haq and Naseem Syed, reside in East Amherst. For more information on the Fulbright program, go to www.iie.org.
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