The Andala Initiative is happy to introduce our 2017 Avicenna Scholars and announce their academic plans. Chosen from a highly selective pool of Muslim high school juniors from across the U.S.,  Mariamou Abdoulaye, Omar Alani, and Hoda Harraz will each begin their post-high school careers this fall.


Mariamou Abdoulaye

Born in the Central African Republic, Mariamou spent five years in a refugee camp with no formal schooling before arriving in the U.S. Despite the many challenges she encountered in her new life in the U.S., Mariamou excelled academically. She was recently selected to join the Rose Festival Court, a group comprised of up to 14 outstanding young women chosen from Portland Metro-area high schools. As part of the Rose Festival Court, Mariamou will receive a scholarship and will participate in a program this summer that offers networking and mentorship opportunities. In addition to her academic achievements, Mariamou volunteers at the local mosque, where she teaches and helps to maintain the facilities. She enjoys modeling, dancing, volunteering, and learning about her culture.

Mariamou Abdoulaye is from Portland, Oregon, and will study nursing at Portland Community College for two years and plans to transfer to Howard University to pursue a medical degree.


Omar Alani

Originally from Malden, Massachusetts, Omar has excelled academically and maintained a strong commitment to volunteering through his work at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC). He enjoyed playing soccer for his high school varsity team and being a swim instructor at the YMCA. His love for traveling the world is coupled with his interests in photography.

Omar will attend Brown University in the fall, where he plans to pursue a pre-medicine track and then attend medical school. Omar is considering a major in either biology, biochemistry, or computer science. He looks forward to spending his freshman year engaging in new student activities and exploring his interests, which include playing soccer, coaching young athletes, volunteering in his community, and spending time with his family.


Hoda Harraz

Hoda Harraz lives in Hercules, California. In addition to her academic achievements, Hoda has maintained a part time job and has been deeply engaged in community service. She tutors middle school students who require extra academic help in reading, math, and science during a weekly after-school program. In addition, Hoda led a poetry community group by organizing meetings, writing sessions, and rehearsals in order to prepare her team for poetry competitions.

Hoda will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall where she plans to study architecture. Hoda enjoys art, poetry, and is excited to begin her studies.


We are honored to have these rising stars join the Andala community!