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From one desert to another, ASU Online serves new master's student in Dubai

Engineering major advancing career through Open Learning Scholars program for Arab students

August 16, 2018

Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles of fall 2018 incoming ASU students.

Farid Taqatqa is a new Sun Devil who lives in a desert city, but not in Arizona.

He is a student in Open Learning Scholars, a new scholarship program for students in Arab countries to acquire master’s degrees from ASU Online. The program is a collaboration between ASU and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, a Dubai-based organization that provides underserved, high-achieving Arab students with scholarships, support and skills training.

Farid Taqatqa

Taqatqa, who is originally from Amman, Jordan, now lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as he begins his studies in engineering. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Jordan and works full-time as a quality assurance technician.

“Mainly, I am responsible for evaluating the quality of the incoming raw materials and the finished goods during all stages of the manufacturing process against specified criteria and standards to ensure that customer requirements are met,” said Taqatqa, who will continue to work during school.

Taqatqa answered some questions from ASU Now:

Question: What are you most excited to experience as part of your ASU Online program?

Answer: The most exciting parts of my experience are the online learning experience itself, the high standards of the education system I am taking and the interesting curriculum of the program. I have taken one course so far, and I am enthusiastic to resume with another two courses next semester.

Q: Have any of your friends ever heard of ASU?

A: My friends have never heard of ASU. In order to explain to them how good my school is, I just tell them that I had a course and the professor was the author of the book of that course. One of them was amazed at that, because he is pursuing a PhD in a well-recognized university here in UAE and had taken the same course with the exact book.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I am a new online student. I am still exploring the online community and wish to have the chance to interact and connect with it in any kind of activities.

Q: What does the Open Learning Scholars scholarship mean to you?

A: It means a lot. To find someone who is willing to help you, you just need to push yourself to meet their expectations. It’s not easy, but you have to work harder to get it. This is an opportunity; you can’t say no. You have to be serious and meet their expectations.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?

A: Currently I am watching a documentary show on National Geographic channel called ''Giant Factories.” The TV show gives you a tour in the biggest factories of car manufacturing in the world.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: My close friends know that I am a very curious person. People at work usually don't realize that easily.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: Poverty, since the poorest people don't have access to education or health care. And by solving this problem, all the root causes of it will be eliminated as well.

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