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PHD Public Policy, Saudi Arabia

November 21, 2013

I grew up in numerous locations, born in Egypt and spending 5 years in Saudi Arabia followed by 7 years in London and then back to SA. I have also spent many years in Washington including the last consecutive two years. This multicultural background has helped me to become a cosmopolitan intellectual, a citizen of the world with a vast appreciation for diversity and respect for multiculturalism. I believe this will help me to excel in your program.

 I have always been a diligent student and now hold a BS in biomedical engineering and an MS in engineering management, both from XXXX University in Washington DC. What has most determined the career direction that I would like to pursue, however, has been my completion of a graduate certificate in world religions, diplomacy, and conflict resolution. I want very much to attend your doctoral program because I wish to devote my life to the study of the impact of religion on the development of public policy, especially on an international level. My long term goal is to work as a consultant or as a diplomat for my country, Saudi Arabia.

 My professional capacity in the area of public policy has been greatly enhanced by my having worked for the Saudi Arabian Royal Court for the past 4 years as a writer and editor. Given the way in which religion is of such intrinsic importance to Saudi identity, this position has also greatly furthered my interest in learning all that I can about the relationship between religion and society, especially the impact of religion on the development of public policy.

 Becoming a biomedical engineer has helped me to understand the complex relations between human systems and their physical environments. My own professional interests have gravitated away from the physical aspects of our human story, however, over this last decade, as we have come to increasingly face a most profound threat from the spread of terrorism. I am convinced that defeating terrorism over the long term will require that we come to a much better understanding of how to respond to religious impulses in our societies, especially in the Middle East and particularly among young people.

 We need to find and focus upon new foundations for the definition of social goods in our societies. I feel strongly that the power of science needs to be better harness to the service of proactively constructing more positive expressions of traditional religious motifs, especially in Islamic societies. We need to labor to actively promote and reward to forms of human accomplishment so that young people might have avenues for the pursuit of fulfillment that provide alternatives to destructive ideologies. And we need to find ways to better integrate sub-systems of religious beliefs in our societies to the larger wholes of religious expression that occur on national and international levels. Finding ways to channel religious energy and zeal in productive ways that contribute to a greater sense of fulfillment among young people will go a long ways to helping us to learn how to cope with the conflicts of today and avoid the conflicts of tomorrow, especially insofar as they arise as a result of radical religious ideologies. It is my sincere hope that by having the opportunity to do my PhD in public policy and better analyzing the numerous challenges that we face as a global society in search of peace and security that I will be in an optimal position to contribute to the construction of a peaceful tomorrow.

 Your program will afford me with the opportunity to develop a broadly based knowledge system and intellectual tool kit for helping me to better understand and develop creative, pragmatic ideas and solutions that will help us to better address some of the burning issues of our day in terms of peace and security through the achievement of higher levels of social harmony.

 When I was a child, I would often listen to my mother, who was doing a PHD in anthropology in fervent discussion with my father, who was a diplomat serving in London. I sometimes felt like I was in the middle of a crossfire but they were in fact mostly objective discussions. From an early age, therefore, I have come to enjoy profoundly honest discussions from the heart of religious and political issues and I have found great solace in dialogue, brainstorming, and open reflection on how to make our societies more harmonious.

 I keenly look forward to sharing reflections on many important issues with other graduate students in the program and taking full advantage of the cultural and intellectual resources afforded by the larger academic community at your highly esteemed institution. I want to thank you for your consideration of my application to your program and I want to assure you that if accepted I will give my all to my studies in these vital areas.

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