Posted Friday 6 January 2023
Sunday, 8 January 2023 marked the third anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. Kingston University alumna Niloufar Ebrahim, her husband Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi and 174 other passengers and crew sadly lost their lives when their plane was shot down shortly after take off by Iranian surface-to-air missiles.
In 2021, Niloufar's family joined together with Kingston University to create a scholarship to honour her memory, and on Sunday, 8 January applications will open to fund the second Niloufar Ebrahim scholar.
For at least three years, one outstanding international masters student will be provided the chance to study at Kingston University's Faculty of Business and Social Sciences thanks to a generous contribution towards their tuition fees. Maria Sweiss was awarded the inaugural scholarship and began her studies in Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc in September 2022. "This opportunity motivates me to work harder every day, and I aim to carry on Niloufar's dreams through my own journey," Maria said.
Niloufar was newly married and returning with her husband, Saeed, to their home in London and to celebrate her graduation ceremony with her coursemates. Niloufar's sister, Navaz, spoke about the family's motivation to start the scholarship: "With The Niloufar Ebrahim Scholarship in Memory of Flight PS752 Victims, we have turned a great sadness into a great work. We are hoping that this scholarship creates a chance for the recipient to continue their education and we want it to open the doors to a brighter future. With this opportunity, not only will the recipient accomplish a higher education but can also make a better contribution to the world."
In addition to being a committed student, Niloufar was a caring person who, in her family's words, was committed to working hard to create a more peaceful world for all. Her family hopes that the scholarship will help to celebrate Niloufar's memory and promote the kindness, commitment to justice and love for life that she was known for. Niloufar had been passionate about improving the lives of other people, and undertaken charity work alongside her studies with international development organisation Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).
Maria Sweiss, from Jordan, paid tribute to Niloufar on being presented with her scholarship certificate last year. "My long-term goal is to be able to provide professional support and rehabilitation to those in need, especially in Jordan, where awareness and development of mental healthcare is highly needed. I am truly grateful for the chance I was given through this scholarship to achieve this goal – I wouldn't have been here without it."
Professor Javier Ortega, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, added: "Niloufar touched the lives of so many staff and students. Although I did not personally know her, many of my colleagues did and they remember her as an enthusiastic, engaged student with a real sense of fun, who cared deeply about others and was a popular member of her cohort. We are delighted, with the support of her family, to be able to provide opportunities for others who share Niloufar's passion and ambition to study at the University through this scholarship in her memory."
Niloufar and Saeed's families continue to campaign for justice as part of The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims. To mark the anniversary, the public gathered in London and several other cities across the world to honour and remember the lives of the victims. Saeed's family also laid flowers at Niloufar and Saeed's graves in Chiswick New Cemetery.
To support the initiative, visit the KUBacker page for The Niloufar Ebrahim Scholarship in Memory of Flight PS752 Victims and also the Imperial College London page for Remembering Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi if you wish to add your support.
Niloufar's family encourages international students to check their eligibility, apply for this scholarship and spread the word on this opportunity.