I don’t know where to start. The story goes back to my first year of college in Syria. “Don’t you think Hatahet would be a designer?” said Professor Michalle Zayat (I think he probably was making fun of me). For the past 10 years, it felt like when I made a step forward something would come up and push my back 2 steps. It was journey of “A class room without borders” I was , yet I am still, traveling to seek knowledge. To seek the unknown. And Every place I traveled to it was a lesson, and I felt the need to mark a good mark. A mark that could be as simple as a word or a positive comment.
During the ten-year journey, I met great people from different parts of the world, and I got exposed to many rich cultures and languages. Coming to IIT was a whole different experience where I learned that you need to teach yourself what you are interested in. It is where I found out that Architecture was my true passion. The rough times shaped the person I am right now. The rough times really taught me to adjust my sailing during my journey. IIT was a hub of all 20 , 30 countries? probably more. It was a consistent traveling whether physically or mentally. I traveled! And I traveled with many class mates who shared the same passion. That is what we do in architecture. We travel! and it is true to say that I traveled the world for Architecture.
It has not be a journey for Academia only, but it has [also] been a cultural, social and a spiritual journey. Understanding human beings from different background and different ethnicities, made me closer to God. It is indeed as God said in the Quran, “On the earth are signs for those of assured Faith, As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see?” “وفي الارض آيات للموقنين * وفي انفسكم افلا تبصرون”
May 14th was a remarkable graduation day. I am so grateful [and] thankful for the great people around me who were always there to show support and love. I don’t think words are enough. Class of 2015 and 2016, we are a “Class Without Borders”. We made it guys! and Prof. Zayat was right today I am a “Designer” and that is my IIT mark!
Illinois Institute of Technology
College of Architecture