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FLAS Fellow Saddiqullah Faizi: A Life of Public Service

July 16, 2018

Saddiqullah Faizi with daughter
Saddiqullah Faizi with his daughter

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth” —Muhammad Ali

Saddiqullah Faizi’s favorite quote embodies the guiding principle of his life’s vocation: to help others when they need it.  Saddiq is an undergraduate student in International Studies and a Global Studies FLAS fellow in Arabic.  He is studying Arabic to expand the regions in which he can undertake diplomatic and humanitarian work with the US government or a humanitarian organization.

Saddiqullah Faizi, profile picture in Oman

Saddiq Faizi in Muscat, Oman

Saddiq chose to major in International Studies after he encountered firsthand the struggles people all over the world face in their daily lives.  After immigrating to the U.S. from Afghanistan at a young age, he developed a strong desire to help those still living in conditions of war and poverty.  He decided to use his language and cultural skills to help others, and spent the following five years working as a linguist and cultural advisor to Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan.  Referring to this experience, he wrote:

It was a life-changing lesson for me, and I knew I wanted to work in a field where I was able to make on-the-ground impact on critical issues such as providing access to basic education to children as well as adults, and at the same time be able to make lifelong friends with amazing people from different walks of life. [1]

Saddiq plans to continue his studies in the Masters in Applied International Studies Program  this autumn.  He started his program of Arabic language study at the Noor Majan Institute in Muscat, Oman this month.  He wrote from Muscat:

I have found Noor Majan in Muscat to be amazing! My first impression was that Noor Majan was very welcoming and the staff and teachers were very friendly and hospitable.  I have found the city to be very diverse, but also to have a traditional aspect to it. The location of Noor Majan is very unique and it has access to huge malls as well as local markets that offer a variety of restaurants and groceries. The living accommodations are great—they are in the same building as the Institute, which helps with avoiding the commute (and heat) in the morning and evenings. 

It has been a great experience so far.  Due to the environment and the knowledgeable teachers, I am learning Arabic faster than I thought I would.  The teachers are very patient and work with individuals on different levels. 

 I am loving it here!! 

FLAS Fellowships are funded by the International and Foreign Language Education Office of the U.S. Department of Education. FLAS fellowships support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in acquiring modern foreign languages and area or international studies competencies. Students from all UW departments and professional schools are encouraged to apply. Find out more about the FLAS Fellowship here.

[1] Saddiq transferred to the UW from Shoreline Community College, and this quote was taken from the UW Spring 2018 Transfer Newsletter, which included an interview with Saddiq about his experience as a transfer student to UW.