Friday, January 30, 2015

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship, 2015.

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN. 
Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant : 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July. The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master's level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programmes, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfillment of their career objectives (academic or research oriented).

Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already started their course of study.


Geographic Scope
The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique. In France, Portugal, UK, USA and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above developing countries, are interested in development-related studies and who have no other means of financing their education.

Residency Requirement
The Foundation only accepts applications of eligible nationals listed above who are residing in one of the countries where there are local Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices which process applications and interview candidates.

Age Limit
Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

Selection Criteria

The main criteria for selecting award winners are:
(l) Consistently excellent academic records, 
(2) Genuine financial need, 
(3) Admission to a highly reputable university or programme of study and 4) relevance of the field of study to AKDN’s focus areas. Candidates are also evaluated on demonstrating thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, their extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment. Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.

Financial Assistance

The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only. The cost of travel is not included in AKF scholarships. Funding for PhD programmes is only provided for the first two years of study, after which the students are expected to find alternative sources of assistance. Financial assistance is provided according to the needs of students, but the ISP must be considered a lender of last resort. Applicants are requested to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources as well, so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum. Preference is given to those who have been able to secure some funding from alternative sources.

Loan Conditions

Half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%. A guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement. The payback period is five years, starting six months after the study period funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Application Procedures

The application procedures of AKF's International Scholarship Programme are decentralised. Students may obtain application forms as of January 1st each year from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in their countries of current residence. Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained. They should not be sent to Geneva.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of entire completed applications is March 31, although in certain countries internal deadlines may be earlier in order to process and review applications. Applicants are advised to contact the local offices for internal deadline dates and requirements as these may vary from country to country. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Go Green in the City Competition, 2015.

Ideas for innovative and efficient energy management for smarter cities

Schneider Electric opens its doors once again for the fifth edition of Go Green in the City, the global business case challenge. In teams of two, students from all over the world are invited to enter the competition and share their revolutionary energy management ideas for a chance to gain unique insight into one of the leading global energy management companies in the world.

The top 12 teams will be invited to Paris in June, 2015 to present their ideas in front of a prominent jury and to compete for a trip around the world and a career opportunity at Schneider Electric*.

Who can participate:

Business and engineering students around the globe are welcome to join the competition.

How to apply:
Register for the competition
Team up with a friend (at least one team member must be female)
Submit an innovative idea for efficient energy management for smarter cities
100 semi-finalist teams will train with a Schneider Electric mentor and create a video presentation of their idea.
12 finalist teams will be invited to Paris to make their final presentations.
The winning team will travel the world, stopping at two Schneider Electric offices along the way, and ultimately, receive a job offer

Deadline: February 4, 2015.

Hope this is useful. Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Part 2: Journey to 10 cities in Saudi Arabia

We moved to the Masjid Haram to perform our Umurah. Afterwards, we proceed to see the entire masjid again.
It looked even more magnificent compared to the previous image I had in my head.   I appreciate the workers in the Masjid so much, they're  virtually every minute.  I wondered how many hours hours they work. A part of me felt like taking the mop and assisting them So, I quietly prayed to Allah to reward them abundantly.

By this time we went to the restaurant to buy food for breakfast. Oh! I forgot to let you know that we eventually found the hotel we were looking for last night. Seriously, it was like three (3) minutes walk from the new hotel.
You know why it was difficult to locate it in the first place?
The hotel was located before a long tunnel and its stands alone.
However, we moved to this hotel. We left the car in their care and checked into the hotel. 

We tried moving round the city, go to shopping malls and visits places then moved back to the masjid for our obligatory prayers. Up till this time the car was still there.

The check out is usually 2pm but we arranged to check out before then to start moving as early as possible to the next city Jeddah.
On getting to the receptionist to drop the key to our room and collect the car key. He started speaking parables, it was like a motion movie!
What season should I call this?
I think season one, episode 1!

He said: 'wain sayaraa? (Meaning: where is the car? )
It was a silly question. 
He could not find the car again and the car key is with him!

At this point, We began to fear how to locate police office and started thinking of constructive arabic sentences to speak to the police, who are likely not understand English since the lingual franker is Arabic. We surely believe that the car has been towed off because here, in Saudi Arabia theft is a big deal so nobody can steal a car just like that.
Besides, the long and short of his explanation was that he handed the key over to his colleague's on duty and the man left his duty post to the toilet and discovered the car wasn't there anymore. He then said;  'Look this is common here, may be the police have tolled it, take your car key and go to police office to claim your car?'

This statement look like season 2 of the man's movie!
We were so resonated with his manner of presentation!
As in, we just in one voice asked him: Whose fault? Who will pay the fine?.........?????
Can you guess what he said????

'What can I do? 

Rent a taxi to police office, pay the fine and carry your car?' 
He is not even saying; ma alysh ( meaning: sorry)

We just calm down, suppressed our anger and asked him to notify his manager that we want to see him or any other matured  person in charge of the hotel. Now, he knew we were angry. At this junction, I will love to tell you that always be calm and be conscious when you are angry, don't talk or handle things with your state of emotion.

We sat down and make conclusion on seeing the manager at all cost without being violent because two wrongs can never make a right. He was careless and we have to be careful.
Finally, the manager came and we got talking with him, then he agreed to take us in his jeep to the police to clear the car.
At the end we became good friends with the manager and he cleared the car without paying a dime to the police. I believe he used his connections. 

The manager, collected our contacts, gave us his personal contact too and ask us to just send him a text whenever we are coming to Mecca again that we shouldn't bother booking online, he will surely arrange for our stay. 
Astonishingly, he speaks very good English, mature and utmost humble. While departing he gave us assorted pack of biscuits, chocolates, sweets and said sorry for the inconveniences.
What a lovely goodbye to a new friend. We entered the car to Commerce yet a new journey.

Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Breaking News from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, died at 1:00 am (local time) on Friday, January 23rd, in Riyadh at age 90 following hospitalization December 31st for pneumonia according to official Saudi media. He ruled Saudi Arabia, as its sixth king, since 2005 upon the death of King Fahd but Abdullah had served as regent since his half brother Fahd’s medical incapacitation in 1996.


King Abdullah (1924-2015)

King Abdullah is also Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers and Commander of the National Guard.

King Abdullah was born in Riyadh in 1924, and received his early education at the royal court. Influenced by his father, founder of the modern Kingdom King Abdulaziz Al Saud, he developed a profound respect for religion, history and the Arab heritage.

King Abdullah’s notable achievements in this area include the launch of four mega economic cities, the creation of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University for Girls, projects to expand the two Holy Mosques and major welfare projects. He also approved a historic reorganization of Saudi Arabia’s judicial system and enacted laws to formalize the royal succession.

May Allah be pleased with him.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How To Travel For First Time Travelers;

1. You need a  flight ticket.
The easiest way to search multiple dates and flight times is to search for your flight ticket online. and time between flights then you can buy your ticket, Usually, airlines will send you an email confirmation and e-ticket number; write these numbers down for reference.

2. Gather photo identification. If you are traveling within your home country, you will need a photo identification card, such as a driver's license or national identification card. If you are flying internationally, you will need an international passport, usually one that is valid for six months from the date of departure.

3: Ensure that your luggage meets airline requirements. Most airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on item and one personal item, Check the specifications for your airline by visiting its website and looking for a section about baggage--check the weight limits, and be sure to stay within them.

4: Pack your carry-on bag carefully. In a bag you take on the plane, you are able to put liquids in 100 mL (or less) containers as long as they fit in a single, quart-sized, sealable, clear plastic bag. According to the Transportation Security Administration, "Consolidating the bottles into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear the items." Agents will confiscate any liquids or gels that do not adhere to this policy.

5: Arrive at the airport early. For your first time traveling on an airplane, allow extra time to make it through the airport and familiarize yourself with the process. If you will be parking, check into the long-term lot for multi-days stay; for this option, some airports have shuttles to the terminal if the lot is not within walking distance. To give yourself a buffer of time, aim to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

6: Check in at the airline desk. Follow the signs to the check-in desks, and have your photo identification ready to present to the agent. He will look up your reservation, print boarding passes and collect any baggage fees for extra checked bags. If you have not selected seats, you can also ask the agent for a window or aisle seat at this time. You will be asked to place your checked bags on the scale next to the desk for weighing, and they will be tagged and placed on a conveyor to be taken to the plane. Take your boarding passes and ID card from the agent.

7: Go through security. Follow the signs for security, and head to the line. At the security checkpoint, you will be asked to show your identification and boarding pass. When your plane begins boarding, they'll call people by sections of the plane, with first class being first.
Once you are at the screening machines, take off your shoes and jacket and place them into a plastic bin with your clear plastic bag.
If you are traveling with a laptop, place it into a separate bin, and send it down the conveyor along with your carry-on bag. Wait for an agent to wave you through the metal detector, and walk through. Retrieve your items.

8: Find your gate. Your boarding pass usually have a gate number on it; if not, check the electronic displays to find your flight and gate number.

Follow the signs to get to your gate, and have a seat until a gate agent calls for boarding. Airlines generally board by row, so don't approach the gate until your group is called then  you'll walk through this tunnel that leads out to the door of the plane to find your seat by checking the numbers above each row, and stow small bags under the seat in front of you and larger bags in the overhead bins.

9: Collect baggage. Once your flight lands, exit the airplane and follow signs for baggage claim. Your flight number and departure city will be on an electronic display; wait with the crowd until the conveyor starts moving and your bag arrives.

10: carry your luggage and move to your planned destination.

Hope this is useful. Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journey to ten different cities in Saudi Arabia.

Continuing its tour of Saudi Arabia, having visited major cities like Dammam, Riyadh, Dharan. Khobar, and Jubail, Travel Army continued its exploration by visiting ten more cities in Saudi Arabia. Although the destination was Mecca and Medinah, there was transit through Taif, Jeddah, Al-Butain, Al-Khaamis, Al-Majmaah, Al- Qasim, Buraydah and Al- Duwadimi.

It was an interesting family road trip that started on a very cold day.

We set off in the morning at 9a.m., filled the car's fuel tank with just 25 SAR that's like $7.
You do not have to spend much money to have an enthralling vacation. You can make a road trip to cities within the kingdom with little expenses.

Driving on a smooth/free road across vast expanse of desert was captivating. The road signs and the GPS came in very useful. The fascinating cities and people of Saudi Arabia have been intriguing travelers with their peaceful road and delightful landscape. There are police checkpoints at the entrance of most towns. While every town looked similar in outlook, each had its unique and landmark features.
The long stretch of open road provided the first scare of the journey as the fuel indicator pointed empty with no petrol station in sight. All excitement turned to apprehension as I prayed for a filling station.

10 mins later, what appeared like a filling station appeared ahead, it was the opposite of the flashy filling stations typical of Saudi with drive-ins, stores, rest room, mosques, car service all in one. It happened to be a saving grace from an awkward and mortifying situation in the heart of the desert as we were not to come across another one for the next 3 hour drive.

I was just imagine what would have happened if the fuel tank got totally empty. Questions filled my head, like; Are we going to sleep in the desert? or leave the car on the highway? I've come to term this scenario, 'Favor in the Arabian Desert'.

We came across Taif, a city of hills and mountains with winding roads meandering through the rocks. The rest of the journey up to Mecca was effortless, uneventful and fluid. Here we were to experience the next little challenge - locating our hotel, which we had already reserved online.

If you are familiar with Mecca, you will agree that it is a city largely structured around mountains, especially the Haram area where the holy site is located. Houses and hotels are built on the edges of hills and rocks are blasted to create roads through them. We drove on slopes, ascending and descending from one street to the other. The mountains had scrambled GPS signals which was taking us around in circles and against traffic. Driving within this hour was more tedious than the whole journey itself. Giving up the search, we walked into one of the closer hotel. and just lodged there.

The Mecca police have a duty to ensure free flow of traffic in order to prevent congestion, so parking our car was difficult. Cars parked lamely on the roads are promptly towed away. It takes 50 SAR to recover towed vehicles.

I love the hotel apartment, everything was neat and beautiful. We took a short nap before going to the Haram.

Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Open Society Fellowship Program, 2015.

The Open Society Fellowship give support to individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges. 
The fellowship funds work that will enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world.
A fellowship project might identify a problem that has not previously been recognized, develop new policy ideas to address familiar problems, or offer a new advocacy strategy. Project themes should cut across at least two areas of interest to the Open Society Foundations. Among these are human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion.
Fellows are expected to take full advantage of the foundations' expansive reach and work to bring new people and fresh ideas into the organization's ambit. Successful projects should push the boundaries of current thinking and carry lessons that can be applied to a variety of settings. Fellows may produce a variety of work products, including publications such as books, reports, or blogs; innovative public-education projects; or the launch of new campaigns or organizations. They may also engage in activities such as hosting panel discussions, traveling to conferences, participating in policy debates, and aggressively promoting their ideas in public venues.
To apply, please follow this link

Hope this is useful. Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Moving Without Fear

The fear of change
Like many, your New Year's resolution may have been to find a new job, change careers or travel to another country for better opportunities. However, with this kind of change often comes fear...a fear of the unknown.

If you find yourself thinking, "I'm not good enough to move anywhere else" or "I'm really afraid to leave my comfort zones", then this article may help.

Take note of the following points in as you prepare to make a move;
1. Be open minded: When we move, we are torn between the fear of leaving our present life behind to face the fears of the prospects of a new life. It’s a tough balance to strike. Its important you act smartly and be open minded to innovative changes in your movement.

2. Once you have made your move, face your present reality. If things are not perfect yet, do not make the mistake of over-comparing your present status with the previous. This will assist you in avoiding anticipatory stress, the feeling of not knowing what’s around the corner, or the helpless feeling you can get – which can cause immense anxiety and undue stress.

3. Do not set your expectations too high, let yourself get surprised:
Your mindset and attitude toward the move, and getting in the right frame of mind can mean the difference between an expat's glory or his abject failure. Positivity is important, as is the desire to make it work. However, it is crucial to prepare well for the unknown.

4. Try to learn the language of your new environment: This will affirm your relationship with such community and empower you with communication bridge since every ethnic group values whoever speaks or understand their language and this gives you a better chance to be successful.

5. Research and ask for help: Speak to as many people as possible; friends, family, colleagues. If you don’t know of anyone, hop online onto the many expat forums that exist and post your questions there, ask for help. Get to know the media landscape, research the property market and prices, get the names of contacts, look at the job market and research local resources that are available.

5. Meet local folks: it's essential to have friends who are citizens of such country or city. The advantages of this is unlimited because the citizens understand their land more and they can give you appreciable guide.

A friend once shared her experience of how meeting local folks and establishing friendship with them in her new country helped save her life. She said: 'It was my local friend who called me on phone that insurgents are killing foreigners in the market and it seems they are coming to our building since its an expatriate dominated population, he emphasized that I should leave immediately'.
I quickly notified others and we vacated the building without taken anything except our documents and cash cards.
We escaped to our country's foreign embassy and later heard that our building has been burnt down.

This story highlights the last point which is the importance of saving wisely as an expatriate.

Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Japanese Association of University Women International Fellowships Program 2015

Japanese Association of University Women (JAUW) is now calling for Applications for its 2015 International Fellowships.

This program is to offer core funding to financially help you come and stay in Japan when you have found that it is preferable or very important for you to stay in Japan to further pursue your ongoing study/research.
This program is to offer core funding to financially help you come and stay in Japan when you have found that it is preferable or very important for you to stay in Japan to further pursue your ongoing study/research.

If selected, you must:
engage in the proposed study/research for which the grant is awarded;
submit a written summary report of 500 to 700 words by the end of the funding period;
make an oral presentation based on the above report toward the end ofthe funding period at a meeting to be held by JAUW.

  • You are a woman of any nationality but other than Japanese, living outside Japan at the time of application; 
  • You have received a Master’s degree or its equivalent, and presently work outside academia, or you are a student/researcher higher than MA /its equivalent level (typically of pre-doctoral or dissertation level). Postdoctoral researchers may apply but they may be placed lower in priority; 
  • You have to find a host university or institution in Japan by yourself, and have to submit, at the time of application, a letter of Acceptance from that host or from your prospective supervisor thereof. JAUW will not extend any help regarding to this matter; 
  • You have to explain in your proposal why you have to come to stay in Japan to pursue your ongoing study or research; 
  • You have to state clearly in your proposal how and in what aspect you will contribute to your home country through your study/ research in Japan. 
  • Fellowship

The amount of grant will range from ¥700,000 to ¥1,000,000 per grantee. The duration of your stay in Japan and various other factors will be taken into consideration in deciding the total amount of grant.
This grant is for 5 to 6 months between September 2015 and March 2016, depending on your proposal; One third of the total amount will be paid at the time of your arrival in Japan. The rest will normally be paid within 40 days after the initial payment. However, the latter amount (i.e. two thirds of the total) may be payable in two or three installments, depending on circumstances surrounding the grantee in Japan.

Deadline: 31 March 2015
Open to: international woman master graduates
Fellowship: up to 1,000,000 japanese yens ( 6,850 euros) for 6 months

  • 3 copies of Application Form Part 1 (Personal Data) 
  • 3 copies of Application Form Part 2 (Proposal & Related Data) 
  • 3 letters of Recommendation.(⇒see No.6 of Application Form Part 1). Each letter should be signed by the writer and enclosed in a sealed and signed envelope; 
a letter of acceptance/confirmation/ invitation (referred to as a letter of Acceptance.). written by your host supervisor or partner depending upon your status in the proposed place of your study/research in Japan;
a medical certificate of health issued by a qualified medical doctor stating in English that you are healthy enough to conduct your study in Japan for the proposed period
a 3.5 cm X 4.5 cm photo of yourself.

All Application documents must be sent in one single packet via airmail to:

International Fellowship Committee
Japanese Association of University Women
11-6-101 Samoncho, Shinjuku-ku,
Tokyo 160-0017,
The official call

Hope this is useful. Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook

AirAsia flight found upside down at the bottom of the sea, passengers found holding hands

Indonesian search officials have now confirmed they have located the fuselage of AirAsia flight 8501 on sonar radar, upside down on the sea floor, not far from where three of the bodies from the doomed AirAsia flight were found holding hands when discovered floating in the Java Sea. Officials from Basarnas, Indonesia's search and rescue agency, say the plane wreckage has been located in 24 to 30 metres of water and one of the seven confirmed recovered bodies was wearing a life jacket.

Lieutenant Airman Tri Wobowo, who was co-piloting Indonesia's C130 Herclues aircraft, was the first to discover debris from the plane and witnessed the tragic scene.

Nine bodies have been recovered so far, including two on Thursday. Remains are being sent initially to Pangkalan Bun, the closest town on Borneo island, before being transported to Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, where Flight 8501 had taken off.
A plane door, a blue suitcase, oxygen tank and the remnants of an emergency slide were among the objects found about 10km from where the plane was last detected on radar. But the most harrowing discoveries were the corpses floating in the Java Sea - about 100 miles off the coast - and search chiefs fully expect none of the 162 passengers and crew on board made it out of the wreckage alive.
Family members who have been at the airport since the crash happened on Sunday December 28th, are expected to come forward to identify the remains of their loved ones.

 May God give their family members the fortitude to bear the loss,