Student Awardees

We are incredibly proud of our Fall 2018 MA award-winning graduate and would like to spotlight his successes and accomplishments during his time at Mason. Read more about his story below. 

Musaab Balchi

Outstanding Commitment in Middle East and Islamic Studies


Musaab is a Palestinian refugee raised in Yarmouk Camp in Syria. During the Syrian uprising, he co-founded several media and human rights initiatives, and he was featured in international outlets discussing the living situation of Palestinians. He came to the U.S. in 2013, and D.C. has been his home ever since.  Musaab has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Damascus. He is keen to use his knowledge and skills to help promote justice in the Middle East, particularly for Palestinian and Syrian people.

Musaab met his now-wife in his first semester at Mason, and he will never forget their first Valentine’s Day at the Johnson Center library. His classes with Dr. Bassam Haddad on Syria, political economy and orientalism were very stimulating and helped develop his methods of thinking and analyzing Middle East issues. His studies in Global Affairs have helped Musaab to understand the conflicts of the Middle East within the global context. He believes that human suffering around the globe, particularly in the Middle East, is caused and empowered by the International order.

Musaab wants to thank Mason for this exceptional journey. He wants to thank Dr. Bassam Haddad who has been always there with his valuable advice. He wants to thank his wife Angie who has supported his educational journey and ensured his success. He dedicates this certificate to the 113 people who donated to his online fund-raising campaign, since they made it possible for him to continue his education. And to his mother and father in Syria, the two people that he wished to be with him in this great honor. They were always there to ensure the continuity of his personal growth and were the happiest for his success.