by: MALLORY CARVER/News Editor
Many students aspire to travel abroad, experience different cultures, and understand the world on a more complex level.
Saif-Aldean Diab, a sophomore engineering major at South Plains College, has had the opportunity to do just that all his life.
Born in Jordan, which is a country east of the Jordan River in Asia, Diab was constantly moving with his family as he grew up. He only attended English schools growing up, despite living in countries where Arabic was the common tongue. Diab was able to experience many cultures as a child, but changing homes so frequently came with its own challenges.
“I grew up living mostly in apartments,” says Diab. “In some of the countries growing up, it was difficult for my dad to find a job. There were hardly any job opportunities.”
When Diab was young, his father had to leave his family to find a job in Quatar. His family was able to follow their father after a year of being apart. The Diabs found their home in Quatar when Saif was 9.
In middle school, Diab was known as a class clown. He says he was often in trouble with teachers for wanting to make his peers laugh.
His parents enrolled him in the Quatar Leadership Academy for his high school education. At this military boarding school, Diab says he found his place. He was ranked second in his class at the academy.
“The other guys there were pretty much my brothers,” he says. “As much conflict as we had, when it came down to it, we were all family. We ate together, we ran together, we were punished together.”
Diab spent the summer before his junior year in France. He says that he was able to take part in what he called, “Model United Nations Debates.” In these model debates, each student would represent a different country. In doing this, Diab says that he was able to truly understand and appreciate government and history in a whole new light.
During his summer in France, Diab also discovered that he had a talent for Dj-ing. He says he served as a DJ at parties, and a large number of people showed up to enjoy the music. When he returned home to Quatar, Diab continued to serve as a DJ at different events, such as weddings and parties. He started a DJ group with his friends called “Heartbeat Entertainment” to make some money in high school.
Diab says looks forward to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States soon. As a U.S. citizen, he will be able to visit Palestine—his family’s native country.
“I’ve always wanted to go, but I can’t because of my passport–it’s a difficult process,” Diab says. “If you don’t go back there within six months, then you aren’t allowed back.”
Diab has visited or lived on most of the continents in the world, but he’s looking forward to his parents moving to the United States. His older sister came to America to earn a college degree as well, he says. He is also planning on enlisting in the U.S. military. He says he loves the spirit of America.
Diab first heard of Texas Tech University, which has a campus in the country he calls home– Quatar. That is how he came to hear of SPC. He says that SPC was a good place to earn a degree before he joined the Armed Forces.
Diab says he is striving for an honorable future as a member of the U.S. military, and he has enjoyed his time at SPC.