Amal HjjihQueen Elizabeth Scholar in Strengthening Health and Social Systems (2023)
Amal is currently a graduate student in the Master of Science Global Health program at McMaster University, with a specialization in Implementing Innovations on a Global Scale completed at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with Life Sciences from the University of Windsor. As a Canadian and, more significantly, as a Jordanian-Lebanese, Amal spent her summers in Jordan and Lebanon. She realized the effects of post-war Lebanon extended beyond physical casualties. Instead, structural violence, such as limited healthcare, food, clean water, and jobs, constrained the country's recovery path. In particular, refugees face substantial barriers when it comes to healthcare access, barriers as a result of sociocultural and political issues.
As an outgoing Queen Elizabeth Scholar in Strengthening Health Systems, Amal will travel to Beirut, Lebanon, to work with the Knowledge to Policy Centre (K2P) at the American University of Beirut. Amal is interested in refugee health, exploring how policies affect healthcare access for migrant populations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, focusing on Lebanon. She hopes to explore areas of collaboration and improvements to strengthen Lebanon's current health system. During her internship, Amal hopes to gain greater insight into initiatives that improve the quality of healthcare access and delivery by bridging the gap between research, policy, and politics for evidence-informed policymaking.