Fordham Mourns Loss Of Ethiopian-American Humanitarian Studies Student

Zuher Ibrahim, a second-year graduate student, at Fordham University, died.
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Photo: Fordham University

Zuher Ibrahim, a second-year graduate student, at Fordham University, in the Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies program, died in her sleep on Sunday, April 24.

Originally from Shire, Ethiopia, Ibrahim grew up in Queens, New York. Throughout her childhood, she returned to Ethiopia to visit relatives. According to her family, it was the disparities between her life in New York and those in her homeland that lit within her a passion for social justice and humanitarianism.

Ibrahim earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Pace University, with a double minor in Peace and Justice Studies and Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies. In 2020, she enrolled in the MS in Humanitarian Studies program at Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was preparing to graduate in August and was applying for doctoral programs with the hope of working for an international NGO and eventually launching an education-focused nonprofit in Ethiopia.

The University recently announced that it will grant Zuher’s degree posthumously.

According to her friends and advisers, Ibrahim was a brilliant and charismatic student who juggled a full academic workload and a full-time job as a risk analyst at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP, where she had been employed since 2018. She also devoted time to fighting against injustices and encouraging others to become engaged in policy reform in a podcast she co-hosted called “Just Too Opinionated.”

“Zuher was a tireless and respected advocate for peace,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. Read more.

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