As one of ten children in his family in Tel Sheva, a Bedouin town near Beer Sheva, Maher realised that the best way to improve his life and help his community was by going to university. He decided to become a doctor because he saw members of his extended family dying for lack of access to treatment. He found out that there are 48 genetic diseases that are unique to the Bedouin community and decided to become an expert in the treatment of these conditions.
As the recipient of a Moshal Scholarship, Maher not only has his medical school tuition fees and living costs covered, but he receives help and encouragement on many different levels.
“When we realised that I was the only student who didn’t have a laptop, Moshal supplied me with a computer. They also arranged for me to get help with English and Hebrew – both important languages at university – and they regularly send me encouraging emails that motivate me to keep studying and do as well as I can.
“At Moshal’s events for medical students, they introduce us to top doctors and researchers who not only tell us about the latest developments in the world of medicine, but they broaden our horizons and encourage us to contact them if we are interested in their field.”
Maher volunteers as a mentor for 27 first-year students at Ben Gurion University who come from the Bedouin community. During the summer vacation, he helped Bedouin children with their math studies so that they too can apply to university. He hopes to be able to help his community to get access to the facilities they need and to save lives as a doctor one day.