Close Relationships and Impactful Experiences at SAIS Europe

Fatima Al Zahra Hewaidi
Master of Arts ’17
Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE)
First Year: SAIS Europe
Home Country: Libya

Fatima Al Zahra Hewaidi applied to Johns Hopkins SAIS because the idea of having a top-notch American graduate education in international relations, which would also allow her to spend a year in Europe, was very appealing. After speaking with former students and seeing their passion and nostalgia for their year in Bologna, she knew that the community at SAIS Europe would be exceptional. Being at SAIS Europe has allowed Fatima to develop close friendships with talented classmates from all over the world, and interact on a personal level with professors.

Over the past year, there have been three experiences which have been especially impactful during Fatima’s year at SAIS Europe. The first one was visiting Srebrenica, a small mountain town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she met with the survivors of the genocidal killing that took place in 1995, and listened to their remarkable stories of healing and resilience.

The second one was participating in the Israel Trek over spring break, where she engaged with public officials, entrepreneurs, journalists and civilians all over the country, including in the West Bank. It was an eye-opening trip which particularly allowed her to gain insights into Israeli perspectives and society.

Lastly, her most memorable classroom experience has been the rigorous 24-hour project development simulation with Professor Marco Dell’Aquila’s renewables class – an experience which confirmed her deep interest in this field and desire to expand her skills both from a technical and policy standpoint.

Next semester, Fatima said she is looking forward to the professional development and networking opportunities in Washington, DC, where she’ll complete her final year of study, and being situated in the heart of the world’s foremost think tanks and embassies, and within walking distance of the White House, US Capitol and World Bank. In the meantime, Fatima will spend the summer in Dubai interning for Access Power MEA, a project development firm focused on delivering sustainable and affordable power and water assets in Africa and the Middle East. Her role will entail helping the firm identify social and community development projects in areas where it operates solar and wind power plants.