Several of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) graduates have shared their experiences and ambitions with Gulf Times as the university celebrated the graduation of Class of 2022 on Monday.
Sabika Shaban, a graduate from the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) noted that it was her best decision to join HBKU for higher studies.
An employee of HBKU and working as the academic journals and publication specialist and a parent, Shaban had to balance her professional and personal life to continue her studies as she joined CIS for Masters in Islamic Global Affairs.
“It was the best decision in my life as it is a fantastic programme that compliments very much with what I do outside of my work,” she said.
“Personally, I do advocacy in the area of disabilities. I have a platform named Qatar Disability Resources. The acronym for the platform ‘ Qdr’ in Arabic stands for what God has designed for you. The purpose of my platform is to empower the stakeholders in the community to fulfill their purpose and realise their dreams. We address information scarcity, provide information resources to parent educators, therapists and researchers among others,” she said.
The graduate said that the programme was so excellent and versatile. She explained: “We could shape the programme to suit our area of study. In our cohort we had diverse areas of interests. We had people exploring gender issues, legal issues among others. I explored disability issues in Qatar. I could shape my programme to focus on my research in my areas of interest. We apply all sorts of innovative thinking models, modules, design thinking among others.”
Shaban said she plans to continue her studies and do her PhD. “The programme allows me to still continue to tap into all the networks. It helps me to continue to do the research and advocacy. I am a big believer in advocacy research and I am planning to pursue my PhD in the field in the next couple of years,” she added.
Abdul Kawiyu Aswad Sualihu, a graduate from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, from Ghana (West Africa), learnt about HBKU and its programmes through the Internet.
“I happened to know about HBKU through the Internet and learned more about the programmes through the web search and social media. I could find a topic of my interest and I applied for the programme. Though I was rejected first time, I persisted with my interest in studying in the college and was finally admitted,” he explained.
Sualihu graduated in Digital Humanity and Societies and plans to continue his PhD in the same area as he feels that the topic has a lot of research content and application.
According to him, HBKU can be defined in three aspects. “Richness and diversity, high level of inclusiveness and endless support from the faculty are three key hallmarks of the university. My journey has been very exciting and has transcended all my expectations. I had the opportunity to meet and interact with people from diverse backgrounds. We could share our experiences and explain various concepts and subject matters,” he noted.
He said that his studies focused on relations between humans and societies in the digital era and digital technologies. Social media and its role in the modern times,
cyber bullying as well as cyber abuse, digital media promoting political polarisation among others were among the topics that were part of my studies,” he remarked.
Samar Elkhalifa, a PhD graduate in sustainable energy from the College of Science and Engineering had done a project on reusing food waste in a creative way.
“It took me five years - slightly longer than expected due to the pandemic of Covid-19 - to complete my research. My project was on studying food waste and how to convert them into useful products. We came up with something that can be used for agriculture,” said Elkhalifa from Sudan, who was born and brought up in Qatar.
She said that the programme provided a lot of opportunities for her to travel and learn. “We have had a lot of opportunities to travel to conferences as well as interact with several people at workshops and we were encouraged to do so. We travelled to many countries outside Qatar and participated in several events in Qatar. We were always provided with support and encouragement by the college and the faculty and we could always voice our concerns,” she described.
Elkhalifa is currently looking at some career opportunities where she can make use of her knowledge and skills in sustainable energy. “ I am looking at a career where I can meet my ambitions as well as to focus on some of the global energy issues. I am looking at something in the areas of energy research and engineering. I have my options open because that is what I learned from my programme as well as from HBKU. Sustainability is a futuristic kind of topic and through sustainability concepts we are finding new solutions for problems. It can be renewable energy, environment, water treatment, construction related work among others,” she concluded.