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PHD Mathematics UK, Canada, Saudi

March 30, 2016

Up until December of last year, 2011, I used to think of myself as one of the happiest and most fortunate of all young Saudi women. My little brother XXXX and I were both so very pleased that we could share the experience of being graduate students in Canada at the same time, looking after one another, providing a sense of family so far away from home. We were waiting until he finished his finals so that we could spend the last Christmas holiday together. His friends called me on December 18, 2011, because they had missed him at two finals and one group study and he did not answer his phone or his door.  I got the first flight to Saskatoon to open his room with the police and to check everything. Since that time I feel as if I have personally asked half of the people in Canada permission to put his missing person poster in their window. There has been no activity on his bank account or his phone; he just vanished without a trace or clue.

My father put in a brief appearance along with my sister; but there was nothing that they could do and they went home. I have been in charge of everything, alone, with the police, investigators, and the Saudi Embassy in Canada. I fear he is dead; how he might have died plagues me every day. On the advice of my therapist and my faculty at the University of XXXX where I am a doctoral student in Mathematics, I need a change of environment. It is time to let my little brother go and leaving Canada would help me a great deal to get my mind back on track in Mathematics. Whatever it was that happened to XXXX, there is no reason why two promising careers should be lost instead of just one.

I have 2 friends who are studying towards the PhD in Mathematics at the University of XXXX and another who graduated a year ago. They have all been very encouraging throughout my ordeal and are very pleased that I have made my decision to apply to XXXX since I want very much to study in the UK. I especially appreciate the multicultural environment of XXXX University with such a high percentage of international students. Personally, I find the people in your academic community to be especially friendly, welcoming, and supportive. I also very much appreciate the enormously powerful reputation of your program and it would be a profound honor for me to be able to complete the PHD as part of your academic community.

I am particularly excited by delayed differential equations, hybrid systems, and especially switching systems. My central long term dream is to design, develop, and create a mathematics research center in my native Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. My home is on the coast of the Red Sea and is one of the major urban centers of my country, by far the most beautiful, cosmopolitan, diverse, and tolerant of Saudi Arabian cities, hosting expatriates from all over the world who have made Jeddah their home. Taking advantage of this international reputation and dynamics, I hope to bring together important minds in Mathematics from throughout the Middle East and the world, tackling problems in applied mathematics in the context of our educational systems here in the Middle East.

I want to bring math teachers together in solidarity, especially throughout the Arab world, sharing resources, brainstorming strategies, tackling common challenges. I want to work very hard to enrich our system of higher education in mathematics, in particular, by networking with professors and arranging institutional collaborations, conferences, contests, awards, prizes for outstanding achievement.  I thank you for considering my application to your program, taking into consideration my tragic special circumstances, and helping me to continue with my dream for perennial innovation in mathematics on the Red Sea in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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