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Rubab Zahra

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About Rubab Zahra

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  • Application Season
    Spring 2020
  • Program
    MTS Harvard Divinity School

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  1. I am really sorry to reply so late. I am Shia Muslim. I left a note on your profile, please respond and contact me. Would love to communicate further in this regard.
  2. Hi, i just saw your reply to my post. I apologize for checking it too late. I started a new job that was really hectic and i disconnected myself from virtual world meanwhile. Besides i wasn't expecting new responses to my question so i wasn't checking it. Would love it if you can help me with my application. 

    Best Regards

  3. @xypathos Also, in addition to GRE can 5 years work experience post undergrad degree helps? Some of it was relevant to my degree, and some wasn't. Some of my research interests are directly related to my personal life, some aren't, for instance i belonged to minority sect and being woman faced struggles so minority issues and gender problems are relevant to my personal life, but i am not transgender, belonging to persecuted group gives one sense of affinity with other persecuted groups, i would like to research about their rights in Islam to make people aware back home, who don't even consider them equal human as they are.. Likewise, i am not affected by blasphemy law but non Muslim minorities are, its used as tool to murder them ''legally'', so yeah these things are closer to my heart, because my own community is facing systematic target killing, and genocide here since decades. The lady at HDS said that these research objectives can make your application really strong. I didn't get it how my research interests being related to personal life can help or harm? In gender issues i wanted to add about situation of prostitutes as well, i hope Adcoms don't consider it relevant as well. :)) You applying this year? Can i msg you somehow? i don't know how many posts i need to send a pm to another member.
  4. Hmm, i can score high in verbal side, but would low score in quant hurt my chances? Also people at HDS admissions had a telephonic appointment with me, explaining i need to work upon more on my SOP, and writing sample, the new requirement they have added this time, and can show my academic potential through it. And that my research objectives regarding rights of transgenders, blasphemy law and persecutions of minorities in Pakistan can strengthen my app if presented correctly in SOP. Still, i am confused and considering a second undergrad degree in some other country, because if i stay here, things gonna remain same, i have an offer to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Venice but not sure whether i should pursue that and then apply to HDS or give it a try this year.
  5. Good Question, Its certainly not generous here, and teachers tend to mark quite rigidly, like some has set standards that even to the best term paper, they gonna give 70 percent or so, and nobody shall get an A in those classes, but it varies from person to person, there is no set standard of marking but its about the teacher whether they are generous or not. Class rankings are not issued and not even given after request, the only thing i can do that my professors vouch for this practice in my recommendation letters.
  6. Ohhh ! What a relief to know, that i am not an anomaly.
  7. Spot on, i appreciate your empathy, and understanding my situation without me delving into details.
  8. Did you know others at HDS who were accepted with lower gpa as well, without advanced degrees?
  9. @marXian Thanks for guidance, they don't ask for writing sample otherwise i would have attached it from my MPhil thesis to demonstrate i have research potential. And it was about Iran since i am more interested in Middle eastern history and politics so somehow it was relevant to the Islamic world. I want to research about persecuted minorities in Muslim majority countries, not only minorities but also of those who don't identify themselves with any religion, or atheists, i believe Islamic world need to recognize them as human as anyone else, rather than adopting strict laws like capital punishment and depriving someone from right to life if they give up religion, in addition to that, status of women and other singled out and oppressed communities like transgenders and their rights in Islam, who are being deprived from even basic human rights here, not to forget draconian blasphemy law in Pakistan that is being used as tool to target others i.e. became a mean to murder legally, these are the things close to my heart. Precisely the reasons why i want to study Religion. @benmaterials I do realize that but then admission rate at HDS is significantly higher than rest of the Harvard grad schools, so the average gpa for rest of them can't be linked to HDS as they don't even publish stats. Besides, for me going, and attending university was no less than miracle, i was first woman in my entire maternal and paternal family to graduate, excluding distant cousins. With extremely abusive father, and brother, being brutally tortured by them since the age of six, i dropped out of my school at age of 12 and managed to complete it on my own when i was 24. I grew up in the days when people of my community were regularly targeted and killed, and no accomplished person from them was being left in our city that led other kids to bully me at school for belonging to that minority group. As a result, I spent most of my life in severe depression, when others dream of grades and colleges, i was working. My mother sell her gold to send me to one of the most prestigious institution here, where luckily entry test was all that mattered not grades alone, and i got in.But going to college didn't set me free from my ordeals, infact they increased,i had to work even double to meet the expense at the college and when i return home i would receive death threats, face violent brother who himself was living with a woman married to another person but would allege me that i want to study so i can see men, and he would inquire it from college guards and stuff. These aren't details but mere glimpse of much more horrible circumstances, where i couldn't go to washroom without brother threatening to break the door. What i meant by highlighting it all was, in oppressive societies we aren't even protected by law and order, studying in developing world is wayyyy different than being here. Its not that women here aren't able to study and excel they do shine in every field, in fact leading in many areas but their families are supportive not wild and violent like mine, and if that would be the case, law won't protect. It wasn't only home that was trouble, i faced misery at work places as well, i was being discriminated for my sectarian identity, at one place nobody would eat a thing that i touched presuming that i am impure ! First of all, i didn't have time to study by taking work responsibilities and even when i could like weekends etc there used to be mayhem at home, or else my mental health won't allow me to do anything. I wasn't allowed to like and marry someone, my phone would be regularly checked, even though other girls freely did so, the reason why i am single at 30. There are more terrible things that i skipped and can't be narrated in public forums, so for me even that was a feat to complete my education, stellar grades weren't a possibility, even my teachers can vouch for it all in my LORs, they have witnessed me suffering. If i don't get into HDS,i am applying to some European countries as well for another undergrad so i will perform better there and reapply, what else can i do, other US grad schools for program in religion don't offer that generous funding.
  10. Thanks a lot for your insightful response. Will they agree to attach an additional document into application? How else can i prove my academic potential through my Personal Statement other than grades, i mean i am fully confident that i can handle the rigorous coursework there only if i get out of the suffocating predicament i find myself trapped here. So in what other ways i can prove i have that academic potential? Other than GRE ofcourse :)) Maths is the actual thing i am not good at, and yes i did my MPhil here, but i heard they waive off GRE requirement for international applicants quite easily too so it won't be an issue.
  11. Hi all, i am from Pakistan, belong to a financially struggling household and persecuted minority group, attended a prestigious liberal arts college here and graduated with undergrad degree in English Lit, and MPhil in International relations.Now i intend to apply for MTS program at Harvard Divinity School in coming session, but i have really average gpa in my undergrad which is 3.07 only. Even though i started and finished that degree under intense pressures, and weirdest circumstances that caused me severe depression. Not to forget, i was working even before starting my degree, due to challenging situations couldn't start my university degree till 24 years of age. Do i stand a chance? Is there someone accepted with similar gpa? I want to specialize in Islamic studies and have intensive research on the subject. Also, i don't need to submit GRE score as i already hold a masters degree and eligible for GRE waiver, even though grad degree is with similar gpa, as the situation wasn't altered much. Shall be grateful for any kind of guidance.
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