BEIRUT: The American University of Beirut announced in a statement Thursday that it will secure $1.2 million in funds to ensure that Palestinian students affected by United States scholarship cuts complete their courses up to graduation.
According to the statement, U.S. government representatives informed the university earlier this month that students from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip would no longer be eligible for comprehensive scholarships under the Tomorrow’s Leaders scholarship program, an initiative within the U.S. State Department’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative.
The funding will cease as of Jan. 31.
U.S. representatives told AUB the suspension of funding was “an unintended consequence of the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 (ATCA) passed by Congress on October 3 last year.”
AUB currently has 82 enrolled students in the scholarship program, 16 of whom are from the West Bank and Gaza.
AUB stated that it was working with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and officials in Washington to mitigate the impact of ATCA on the scholarship program.
According to reports on social media, a number of Palestinian students at the Lebanese American University have been receiving scholarships from the same program and will also be affected by the U.S. funding cuts. LAU has not yet commented publicly on the issue.