Congratulations to Zahra Al Shamma (Banking and Finance, 2013) who was announced as the 2022 Bangor University / BIBF Alumnus of the Year at a reunion of Bangor graduates in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 8 November.
Bangor Business School is proud to have a long-standing partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), which began in 2004 with the first cohort of students graduating in 2007. Since then around 1,000 students have graduated from this programme which enables students to study a foundation year and the first two years of their qualification in Bahrain and complete their final year in Bangor to gain their undergraduate degree. The Alumnus of the Year Award was established in 2016 to recognise an alumnus of Bangor University and BIBF who has achieved professional distinction as well as having contributed to their community.

This year’s annual alumni reunion, attended by over 90 former students, was hosted by Prof. Andrew Edwards, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Arts, Humanities and Business. Guests were also welcomed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain and Chief Executive of BIBF, His Excellency Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj.  Zahra was presented with her award by Bangor University’s Prof. Bruce Vanstone, Head of Bangor Business School.
Zahra Al Shamma graduated from Bangor University with a BSc in Banking and Finance in 2013. 

Zahra joined the Tamkeen Labor Fund in February 2017 as a Senior Analyst, contributing towards the growth of the entrepreneurial market and the private sector in Bahrain. Now, as part of her role in Strategy and Transformation, she is responsible for reporting global and local economic status and conducting market sector analysis. 

In October 2021, Zahra was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office to be part of the National Taskforce for combatting COVID-19. She describes her role here as War Room Supervisor as a journey of sleepless nights. Her team worked closely in managing the COVID-19 data centre, managing daily cases and hospitalizations in the COVID-19 facilities and reporting to the Prime Minister and high-level personnel for nationwide decision making. She gained the honorary Prince Salman bin Hamad Medical Merit Medal for her role in this crucial team. 

Following the Royal Directive of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to unite the national efforts to combat the repercussions of COVID-19 and the impact it had caused on economic levels, Zahra has worked with adversely affected small and micro enterprises to offer financial support, assessing and processing the allocation of the Government Stimulus Packages and investigating market sectors affected by the global pandemic. 
Outside of work, Zahra volunteered for three years INJAZ Bahrain’s Head Start Program, a non-profit organization with the aim of empowering young people to own their economic success and be prepared for today's business challenges. 
On receiving the award, Zahra said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Bangor University and BIBF for choosing me as their Alumnus of the Year 2022; it really is a great honour. Attending Bangor University was an incredibly positive experience that shaped my character for good. It gave me the foundation of knowledge that I am still relying today.” 
Prof. Bruce Vanstone, Head of Bangor Business School, said “We at Bangor University and our colleagues at BIBF were delighted to hear of Zahra’s progress since graduating, particularly in her hard work in supporting the Kingdom of Bahrain during the pandemic. We’re very proud of her achievements and delighted to acknowledge her as shining example of what can be achieved by our graduates.”

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