Fadhila Al-Dhahouri has become the first female Muslim President of Cardiff University’s Students’ Union.
The Omani-born international student won by a margin of 166 votes after a one week election campaign and will take up her post in July this year.
“As the first female Muslim and first international student President, I feel immensely proud and grateful for this achievement. We have opened new doors for students who are international and from minorities.” Al-Dhahouri said.
She hopes her win will inspire more students from minority backgrounds to step up and feel confident in becoming leaders.
“I feel this is a massive step towards a new era and future for Cardiff University students…no matter where you come from, anyone can make an impact. I stand for a bold, transformative and inclusive union for all. I heard you! Let’s make this happen!”
A year ago when she was elected Vice President of the Union, Al-Dhahouri wrote: “My educational journey has been very interesting so far! I have always dreamed of studying abroad and my dream came true! It has not been as straightforward as you would think. When I first arrived in the UK, I could not speak two sentences of English after one another. This is an experience that the majority of our international students have. Like many of them, I studied for 9 months at an intensive English language course in Salisbury.
“Then I came to Cardiff, my second home. Here, I took an International Foundation Programme (IFP) and I really, really wanted to do Educational Psychology, however, I could not due to various reasons. Anyhow, I started on my fascinating degree in Genetics, the microscopic world. A subject I am still in love with and I’m proud to say I have graduated with a 2:1!
“I have always been passionate about education, as I believe freedom is in education. I have always loved helping and being in service of people. As I believe everyone that I meet in my life becomes part of me. I honestly believe I won by listening to our students’ worries and concerns. I will do my very best to solve them by living up to these principles in my role.”