Who Am I?
I am a fourth year Bachelor of Architecture student at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with a minor in Intelligent Environments (IE). IE focuses on spaces that support efficiency and high quality of experience, addressing both the integrated development of such environments and the resulting experience. The minor allows me to work in tandem with Physical Computing and Media Design. This unique mixture of education has given me the ability to take projects from ideation, to actualization, to post-actualization analysis.
I was born in Switzerland, but I am originally from Kuwait, and grew up and lived most of my life there. By working hard in my early education, I was granted the great privilege to get a full merit-based scholarship to come study architecture at CMU.
Having spent most my years in a foreign land, that set the tone for a life of diversity. That is why it seems hard to define who I am with one word. I am a student and a teacher, an artist and a musician, a thinker and a doer. I use my camera as a third eye to wander through the world. I love travelling, meeting new people and learning about other cultures. I have a pact with myself to self-learn 10 instruments by the time I am 30 (I am at 7 instruments now). All of these things seep into my passion for people, design and architecture.
My Professional Aspirations
I want to dedicate my life to positive social impact, whether through design, built structures, art or providing a necessary service to fulfill that. I am very passionate about working with refugees and displaced people, but I do not want to limit my work to only that. Coming from the Middle East, I am also passionate about women’s rights and women empowerment.
It is hard to specify a course of action for a profession since each situation has its unique set of issues. Essentially, I know what I want to achieve and am willing to work through and learn anything that is necessary for that goal to become a reality.
A global issue the built environment is facing is the large scale displacement of populations, whether from war, climate change, or the lack of basic resources to survive. I emphasize survive here, because surviving and living are not the same thing, and I believe people deserve the right to live and not just survive.
The way I see it— I have been given an immense privilege to still be alive, healthy, and have access to this top-line education. It is my duty to share that privilege with others, after all, I only got to where I am today because of others’ empowerment of me.
Ultimately, I want to communicate in a way that changes how people think about immigration, refugees, displaced and marginalized people through strategic spatial and artistic interventions.