Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah has awarded a master’s degree to a student who passed away two years ago, following the successful defense of her thesis. Despite Khuloud Batto’s unfortunate demise, the university officially recognized her academic achievement.
Dr. Fatima Youssef, the supervisor of Khuloud Batto’s master’s thesis, provided insights into the remarkable dedication displayed by the late student. Dr. Youssef stated, “The master’s thesis was successfully defended by the student, who was diligent and highly committed. She often expressed her wish for her family to be proud of her success and to fulfill her life’s dream.”
During the holy month of Ramadan, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Khuloud consistently met with her supervisor after Taraweeh prayers to expedite the completion of her thesis, almost as if she sensed the proximity of her passing.
Dr. Youssef affirmed that Khuloud had reached an advanced stage in her studies, focusing on the impact of green coffee bean extract on body weight and fat levels in adults in Saudi Arabia. Khuloud even completed the presentation used in the defense, which was utilized during the study’s discussion.
The supervisor noted that signs of fatigue began to appear in Khuloud, and after medical examinations, she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Sadly, she passed away two weeks after starting treatment.
Dr. Youssef added, “I still remember her words, her determination, her fatigue, and the tremendous effort she exerted to complete her thesis. She had accomplished everything, with only the final step remaining, so I sought to fulfill her wish.”
Dr. Youssef highlighted the support she received from the new dean of the college, Professor Nahla Qahwaji, and the significant backing from the Deanship of Graduate Studies, led by Dr. Saud Al-Salmi and Dr. Khuloud Al-Saleh. The proposal was further endorsed by colleague Miada Abu Zaidan and the Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor Inas Suroor.
Dr. Youssef concluded by mentioning the completion of the committee formation procedures, including external examiner Dr. Atemad Hawait, and internal examiner Dr. Arwa Turkestani. The defense took place on Wednesday with significant attendance from Khuloud’s family, her fellow undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty members. The committee issued its recommendation to award the academic degree to the late student.