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SONMS PhD Student Shaima Amer celebrated at Saudi Embassy

25 September 2012

PhD student Shema Ammer, currently studying in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, was recently honoured by the King of Saudi Arabia as a high achieving postgraduate.

As part of the celebrations of Saudi National Day on 24th September, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz invited a select group of distinguished postgraduate students from Saudi Arabia currently studying in the UK to a celebratory reception at the  Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London. The reception was held in recognition of the importance of educating the country's young population to ensure progression, development and growth. The event celebrated those postgraduates studying in the UK, across a range of disciplines, who have achieved excellence during their studies. One of those invited was Shema Ammer, currently studying her PhD at Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.

Shema Ammer with Saudi Ambassador

Shema after the ceremony with the Saudi Ambassador, HRH Prince bin Nawaf  Al Saud

Hosted by the Ambassador, HRH Prince bin Nawaf  Al Saud, along with Dr. Faisal Mohammed Al-Abukhail (director of the Saudi Cultural Bureau), the celebration started with a reading from the Quran and welcoming speeches. Dr. Faisal spoke about the progress of achievement in education in Saudi Arabia, citing the rising number of universities in the country, and the sponsorship of over 100,000 students to study overseas.

Following this, the Ambassador addressed the students themselves. He congratulated all  the assembled postgraduates, describing how delighted and proud he was of their achievements. Describing education as ‘the avenue through which their Kingdom would progress’ he expressed his hopes that those Saudi students with overseas scholarships would be able to utilise their distinct experiences, know-how and expertise to develop the country on their return. The students were then presented with certificates.

Shema Ammer Receives Certificate

Shema is presented with her certificate by the Saudi Ambassador in London

Shema is currently studying a research project titled ‘Teaching self-care behaviour to adolescents with type 1 diabetes in Saudi Arabia,’ supervised by Dr Erica Alabaster and Dr Lesley Lowes from the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies. She was selected as an example of an outstanding student for a number of her achievements. After graduating in 1997 with a first class honours degree in Nursing from the King Abdulaziz University, she  achieved a first class Master’s degree in Nursing from the the King Saud University in 2005. More recently, she presented at an International Conference in Egypt in 2007, and in 2011 was awarded first prize for her research poster during the SONMS Annual Postgraduate Symposium. Her poster has now been accepted to be presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in October this year.

Shema describes receiving the invitation to the celebration as ‘exciting,’ and the experience itself like a dream. Understandably proud to be chosen to represent both her University and her country, she is also conscious of the importance of this accolade to her career.

Shema and other girls with ambassador

Shema and other postgraduates honoured at the event on the 24th September pose with the Saudi Ambassador and Dr Faisal

“I will never ever forget this spectacular ceremony and celebration. Really, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. I am going to be a 3rd year student this new academic year, and am currently collecting and analysing my project data. Hopefully, my achievements will continue with my project, and I will have good results, be able to achieve my research project aims, and will be able to introduce new strategies for diabetes education in Saudi Arabia.”

The School's Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Katie Featherstone, expressed her pride at Shema's achievement on behalf of the School; "We are so thrilled that Shema's achievements have been recognised at this level. Shema's hard work and determination is inspiring to all of us in the PGR team."

Saudi National Day is celebrated by Saudi Arabia in memory of the final reunification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by King Abdulaziz in 1932. King Abdulaziz’ mission was to bring peace to the region and to restore Islam. The 2012 event was the country's 82nd National Day.

Postgraduate Research at Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

Details of the research opportunities can be found on the School webpages. Alternatively, please contact the Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Katie Featherstone:

Dr Katie Featherstone

Position:Director of Post Graduate Research
Dr Katy Featherstone
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2091 7815Extension: 7815