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High-achieving economics student sets sights on becoming PM of Jordan

January 31, 2020

High achievements and lofty goals are no stranger to economics student Hamza Abdelrahman, whose academic career so far has been peppered with strong academic performance and scholarships. It’s no surprise, then, that Abdelrahman has set his career sights on becoming the prime minister of Jordan, his home country.

Abdelrahman is currently completing an honours degree in economics with a minor in political science. His ambition since high school has been to become prime minister of Jordan and bring policy-driven change to the country he calls home.

“From the day I accepted my offer from SFU, and even before I stepped foot in Canada, I have received guidance from academic advisors, professors, alumni, and even president Petter himself,” says Abdelrahman. “Every person I have talked to helped me better understand the path I needed to take.”

Abdelrahman’s journey in academia began at the age of 14, when he was admitted to a high school established by Jordan’s late King Hussein for “gifted students” where he challenged himself academically and started volunteering.

At 17, he received a full scholarship to represent Jordan and study at a college in Italy as part of an international peace program called United World Colleges. At 19, he applied to Simon Fraser University (SFU) to study economics and received the university’s most prestigious scholarship for international students, the W. Ronald Heath Major Entrance Scholarship. Abdelrahman is also the winner of the 2018 Glenn Berg award at SFU’s Department of Economics.

“Thanks to the flexibility SFU gives students to explore different disciplines, I found the streams that I am most passionate about and that best align with my aspirations,” says Abdelrahman. "SFU’s support has also pushed me to excel academically while staying engaged in my community.”

Abdelrahman has also explored work opportunities through the co-op program at SFU, where he gained experience with multiple research assistanceships. Abdelrahman has worked with a number of SFU units, including SFU Recreation and SFU Big Data, and is currently working as a research assistant with SFU economics.

Abdelrahman is optimistic about where his SFU journey will take him, and thankful to SFU for its opportunities and supportive atmosphere.

“I feel very confident about entering the workforce and having the necessary skills to succeed,” says Abdelrahman. “Every success in my SFU journey has helped me believe in myself more and made me feel more grateful about the amazing opportunities I am afforded by being here.”

Hamza Abdelrahman graduates this spring and has been selected as student speaker at the SFU Spring 2020 Virtual Convocation Celebration. He also received the Robert C. Brown Award, Cliff Lloyd Memorial Award, and Jack Knetsch Award.