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Don't pass up chance to compete, says young Emirati achiever.

Khor: Fakkan A bright Emirati student, who won a bronze medal at the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) last month, has now turned her attention to the mid-year exams.

The 15-year-old Shaima Mohammad Mirza, from Bahethat Al Badya Secondary School here, received high praise and was awarded a university scholarship and Dh15,000 grant as encouragement by the Ministry of Education.

She competed with other international students in last month's IJSO in South Korea, where she was tested in physics, chemistry and biology.

The grade 10 student said she had the experience of a lifetime, on the academic fronts as well as socially.

After successfully taking part in a national competition, Shaima was chosen along with another five students to represent the UAE in Korea.

Despite facing extremely tough competition and feeling intimidated by the setting and competitors, Shaima held her nerve to score an impressive Bronze medal.

The young student appeared to be taking it in her stride and is now concentrating fully on the grind of mid-year exams.

She said: "Korea was a very beautiful experience and I was lucky to have achieved what every student dreams of.

"As a team, we prepared and studied hard before going over to Korea and to see our work pay off is very pleasing." Shaima, who lost a sister and both her parents a few years ago, is the youngest of seven siblings who seem to have drawn strength from the tragedies in their lives and turned it into high achievement in academics and sport.

In addition to Shaima's recent success, the siblings also boast national and regional champion cyclists in brothers Badr and Yousif and another high-grade sister at university.

Shaima's special position as the youngest in the tight-knit family has meant maintaining a fine balance between spoiling their little sister and setting high standard for success, said her older brother Badr.

'Good kid'

"Shaima, is a good kid and, being the youngest of us, we do give her some special treatment, but we also stress good discipline and hard work ethics and, thankfully, it appears to be paying off," he said.

"Travelling to Korea was her first trip abroad and a very important event for her and she was very excited and a little bit nervous, but in the end she put in the effort and did us proud."

Shaima, has a word of encouragement for other students, saying: "I would urge any student who comes across any such chance to compete at any level to take it and do their best.

"Just have plenty of self confidence and double your work efforts; it will be hard for a while but, in the end, it will all be worth it and you will have something wonderful to look back on."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jan 10, 2009
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