1. Tell us about yourself.
Since graduating, I have been involved in the humanitarian and emergency response field in Jordan, working for UNICEF, UNOPS, and USAID. I have been involved in a range of projects since I began work in this field, starting as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in refugee camps and host communities. The projects I’ve covered include education, child protection, health and gender-related issues. I am now working as a UNICEF Field Support Officer, covering a range of projects in all Syrian refugee camps. At this point in my life, I would describe myself as a humanitarian worker, and in my spare time I’m involved in a number of charitable initiatives.
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
The fondest memories of my time at university was getting to know my fellow students, many of whom came from a range of backgrounds and cultures. My days at Anglia Ruskin University were filled with kind and good people.
3. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
Firstly, just because you’re graduating now, that doesn’t mean that you should stop studying. You should always try to keep learning and growing. Perhaps try visualising where you would like to be in 5 years. Remember that achieving success in a job is much easier if you enjoy or even love what you do; see if you can plan a route to that kind of job. New graduates should also prepare themselves for challenges in the immediate years ahead. The first couple of years for new graduates is hard, so don’t be discouraged or disappointed if success isn’t immediate.
4. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?
Since university, I actually changed my career from telecommunications and technology-related studies to a humanitarian career. In hindsight, I wish I had taken more short courses and training opportunities to become more familiar with international affairs and humanitarian/development work.
5. How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you?
University life at Anglia Ruskin helped me a lot. I feel more confident than when I first arrived, and I feel more able to see things from different perspectives. My mind and opinions on a range of things have changed since my time at Anglia, with the help of professors, friends, and tutors. It goes without saying that my academic understanding of a range of topics has been broadened and strengthened as well.
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
In practical and lab sessions, I was able to better understand many of the theoretical topics I was trying to grasp; I often found them really helpful, engaging, and a lot more fun than just listening to a lecture. In my Master’s course, we were actually quite a small group, so I enjoyed the camaraderie of working with a small team of professors and students as well. Anglia Ruskin also opened me up to research methodologies and it was a new and fun experience to actually carry out my own research.
7. What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU?
The Anglia Ruskin Chelmsford campus has great facilities and staff, with an excellent library and dedicated professors who will really help you out. From what I hear, the rank of the university is rising, showing the hard work that I saw paying off over time. I can certainly say that my time at Anglia Ruskin has made me feel really appreciative of them and overjoyed to represent them; I can’t imagine I would feel this way if I didn’t go to a great university!
It’s also worth mentioning that the Chelmsford area is safe, friendly and nice to live in as well!
8. In one word how would you describe Anglia?
Future (a place to build and plan one!)
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Dr. Sufian Yousef was my supervisor at the university, the Director of Engineering and Computing. I actually first met him in Jordan, where he advised me about taking up a Master’s Degree in the UK. I actually decided to go with Anglia Ruskin University because of its good reputation and my trust for Dr Yousef. He has certainly been a big influence on my academic career and beyond.
10. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My proudest accomplishment to date has probably been the opening of the new schools to accommodate Syrian refugees in Jordan. It involved a partnership with UNICEF (my organisation) and the Ministry of Education. I took part in a big needs assessment of the current school infrastructure and the numbers of Syrian refugee children out of school. With a good education, I believe that Syrian children can make great contributions to Jordanian society and their own families. Investing in education can solve a lot of problems; I felt that by helping young people to gain an education, I can actually help my society and other people by proxy.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
12. What drives you?
I feel a big sense of responsibility for my community. After working with underprivileged people for much of my career, I’m also more aware of the blessings I’ve had in my life. I think it’s important to try to share these and give back whenever possible.
13. What’s next?
I would like to study for a PhD and acquire more experience and knowledge in the humanitarian field. I would like to become more involved in the strategic side of things, so I can one day plan interventions and programs in Jordan and outside.
A PhD would also enable me to teach younger students in Jordan and allow other talented people to launch their career and improve the humanitarian and human rights sector in Jordan for the future.