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Warwick graduate awarded Kennedy Scholarship

Congratulations to Zena Agha, Warwick graduate, who has been successful in being awarded a Kennedy scholarships issued by The Kennedy Memorial Trust to study at Harvard and MIT.

Zena Agha, 22, Harvard GSAS AM Regional Studies

Zena Agha is a final year history and politics student at Warwick University. At 16, she was elected deputy member of youth parliament for her borough, and at 17 she was the youngest ever member of Operation Black Vote's MP shadowing scheme, working in parliament under the mentorship of the Rt Hon Fiona MacTaggart, MP for Slough. At university, Zena turned her attention to writing spoken word poetry. She is founder and coordinator of Warwick’s largest poetry collective, Shoot from the Lip, which runs poetry slams and workshops for young people around the country. In 2013, Zena worked with Operation Black Vote to produce and direct a series of spoken word short films and interviews called ‘The Power of Poetry'. Identity is the over-riding theme of her writing. Zena has done freelance work at The Economist and has been published in The Independent, with other media credits including BBC Arabic, BBC Scotland, Russia Today and the BBC World Service.

She is of Iraqi-Palestinian heritage and is fascinated by the Middle East, its diaspora and its relationship with the West. After studying International Relations at Sciences Po, Paris, during her year abroad, she worked as a translator at the Iraqi embassy in France and interned with the Palestinian delegation at UNESCO. In addition to working at 'Al Quds' newspaper, Zena is co-founder of the website Infita7 ("Openness” in Arabic). It seeks to dissect the Middle East's nuances and complexities through a variety of lenses and operates in English, Arabic and French. Zena seeks to preserve and cultivate an awareness of Arab identity and life in the diaspora and she welcomes the breadth of the Harvard AM and its rejection of a narrow and circumscribed perspective on the Arab world.

ZEna said:

I'm grateful to Warwick for giving me the opportunity of spending a year abroad as well as giving me the flexibility of different courses over my degree. I've really appreciated the depth and critique examined in my final year and it has given me momentum to continuing pursuing a more discursive understanding of world politics."

Watch Zena in action in her two TEDxWarwick Talks.

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Warwick's previous sucesses

Warwick has now helped 6 students win this highly-sought after award; Zena Agha, Giles Edwards, Sarah Stevens, John Hopkinson, Oliver Newth and Jennifer Quigley-Jones.