Skip to main content

First-Year Experience Team

As an incoming first-year or transfer student, you will be assigned to a peer advising group (also known as "prides") facilitated by a peer adviser for the duration of Wildcat Welcome Week and your first year.

Ask your peer advisers about:

  • Student life and opportunites for student involvement
  • Academic resources
  • The relationship between the NU-Q and Education City-wide communities
  • Living in Qatar

Fall 2017 Team

Jueun Choi – Orientation Co-Chair

“Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart.” – Henry Ward Beecher

A journalism senior and a third-culture kid, Jueun is originally from South Korea, but also lived in Australia, China, and Oman. She recently interned at USA Today's breaking news team and covered wide-ranging topics—from American and Middle Eastern politics, climate change, health, to race. She is secretly a perfectionist but has a three-second memory and earned the nickname of “goldfish.” She is not only called fish but also loves to eat fish, and everything else. If she’s not eating, you'll see her listening to music, playing instruments, or singing 24/7. As a returnee to NSP, she is determined to make the orientation overflow with laughter and deprived of awkward silences—one of her biggest weaknesses.

Erzum Naqvi – Orientation Co-Chair

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Erzum is a communications junior and an international student from Pakistan. He has a long-standing passion for storytelling and ever since he stumbled upon filmmaking in his freshman year, it has slowly consumed his life (or whatever is left after NSP and academics). When not behind the camera, you can find him on stage, whether it be giving a speech, putting on an acting performance or trying to rally a group of freshmen. Should he be absent from both filming and performing, you may as well give up looking for him, as he’s probably out on an indefinite walk, or maybe perched somewhere precariously high. It’d be much more effective to simply put out an offer for food and watch him sniff his way there. He’s easy enough to spot—he’s the one in the blazer.

Aimen Jan – Peer Adviser

“I wish there was a film crew following my every move. I imagine the camera craning up as I walk away. But, unless things improve, the biopic of my life will only have the budget for a zoom out.” – Joe Dunthorne, Submarine

Aimen is a communications sophomore who dreams of becoming an experimental filmmaker. Initially she was not inclined to choose communications, as she had always wanted to write articles and exercise storytelling through word forms. However, after coming to Northwestern University in Qatar, her plans changed as she thoroughly studied the technicalities of cameras and filmmaking and now, she aspires to tell stories through non-narrative filmmaking. She is also a very talented individual and this can be proven by the fact that she has the ability to eat more than ten slices of pizza in one sitting.

Aisha Al-Qadi – Peer Adviser

“Be true to yourself. Stand out, don’t fit in.”

Aisha is a rising journalism junior and is participating in NSP for the very first time. She’s very helpful and walks around like she has her life figured out, but in reality is just looking for a quiet corner for her regular meltdowns. She’s usually grumpy in the mornings so unless you’re offering free hugs, don’t approach her till she gets her morning coffee. She also has a short attention span that she fast forwards through all her TV shows (sometimes even movies). Aisha loved how friendly and helpful her peer adviser was during her orientation so she decided to be one as well! She can’t wait to meet the Class of 2021 and help them settle in our new building!

Ayza Sheikh – Peer Adviser

“Don’t let numbers tell you what to do. You are blood and earth, not theory and chalk.” – Nightvale

Ayza is a rising communications sophomore and a giant space nerd. Her notebooks, her bedroom walls and her phone background all have pictures of planets and stars. Rumor has it she carries glow in the dark stars in her pockets. She’s a big dreamer, both in the goals department and in the sleeping department and she loves poetry and good cinematography. She hasn’t really figured out life yet but she’s adopted the ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude and it seems to be working pretty well. Ayza loves adventure, especially if it’s spontaneous, and is always 100% down for late night McDonald’s runs (if you offer her McDonald’s chicken nuggets she will instantly become your best friend). She’s also super excited to be a peer advisor and to meet the class of 2021!

Hazar Kilani – Peer Adviser

“Kim, people are dying.” – Kourtney Kardashian

Hazar is a rising journalism sophomore and a Daenerys Targaryen wannabe who’s known for her love for Netflix, cats, and food. That being said, it’s easy to use cute cat videos or food to bribe her into doing whatever. She joined the journalism program because of her great interest in politics and in hopes of making change, as cliché as it sounds. Being a Palestinian has shaped her into who she is today and gave her an insight into the power of media. If you’re awake at 4am, you may be able to witness one of her endless feminist rants live on Twitter. One thing to note though is that she is a perfectionist, and her goal is to get her life together.

Hissa Al-Hitmi – Peer Adviser

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Hissa is a rising journalism junior. She graduated from the Gulf English School, and her hobbies include watching Japanese animation, playing video games and photography. Her friends call her “mom” because of the advice that she gives, so come to her if you have any problem. Hissa enjoyed her orientation so much that she wanted to come back as a peer advisor. She is super excited to welcome the incoming class of 2021 to NU-Q, and show them how exciting this new chapter of their life can be!

Ifath Arwah – Peer Adviser

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

Ifath Arwah is a rising journalism senior from India who still cannot believe that she’s completed three years as an undergrad. After a lot of (un)heroic fighting for her dream to be a journalist, she joined NU-Q and hasn’t looked back since. She is passionate about sharing stories of the disenfranchised and has a keen interest in politics, history, and international development. Her greatest source of discontent is finding herself without a book to read at hand when she’s unoccupied.

Muhammad Muneeb-Ur-Rehman – Peer Adviser

“To define is to limit.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Muneeb is a rising sophomore in the communication program. He is new to NSP but then again, he is new to everything he does. He finds it hard to stick to one thing and is therefore mostly seen wandering around either everywhere or nowhere at all–still a freshman at heart–a confused mind with an inconsistent attitude. He recently found his love for storytelling through screen (basically filmmaking) and therefore joined the Studio 20Q board. He is also big time into research and wants to pursue a career in Media Research or Corporate Communication or perhaps Filmmaking maybe (only God knows tbvh). He is also a member of the Birates (the NU-Q Football Team) and supports Manchester United (at least they are consistent with breaking his heart). Seriously though, he is all about new experiences and personal growth and if you want to have a good time, roasting and being roasted is his area (pretty consistent with that).

Neha Rashid – Peer Adviser

“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot fun until you get the bill.” Christopher Parker

Neha is a rising journalism senior that is in denial of her “senior” status. Originally Pakistani, she was born and raised in Qatar and has the appropriate accompanying identity crisis that all third-culture kids do. As part of her three years at NU-Q, Neha’s been part of a lot of experiences; from working multiple jobs around campus to trips to Dubai and New York, a 10-week internship at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., and this summer, right before welcoming you in August, she will be undertaking a reporting project in Pakistan on the cultural issues surrounding bonded labor. However, while all this might sound fun (and it is!) she also happens to be a professional procrastinator and, therefore, can be found curled up in dark corners of the building, binge-watching Netflix, stuffing fast-food down her throat and sobbing over the endless amounts of assignments yet to be completed. She can also be two completely different people depending on whether or not she's had her necessary dose of coffee that day.

Samaya Mahmoud – Peer Adviser

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Samaya, a rising communications senior, is Palestinian-Jordanian, but was born and raised in Qatar. One fact about her that anyone who knows her well would agree on is that she loves all kinds of food. She loves experimenting and trying new things. So for any foodie, she is your potential soulmate. She is currently a part of the Communications Exchange Program at Northwestern’s home campus in Evanston. She travelled to four different states within five months of her time in America, visiting fun places like Disney World, Universal Studio, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge (which she biked across btw!). A year ago, she was part of the Service Learning Trip to Vietnam, which was so much fun and also a life-changing experience. She’s excited to meet the freshmen and chat more!

Sarah Shaath – Peer Adviser

“Pain is temporary.”

Sarah Shaath is new to the New Student Programs and is looking forward to serving as one of the Peer Advisors for the Class of 2021. She is a rising sophomore majoring in Journalism. She was born in the U.K., then moved to Palestine for three years, then back to the U.K. and then moved to Qatar around 3 years ago. She has moved almost every 4 years, which has made her experience a lot of different cultures and people. Such experiences have helped her develop as a person and she is therefore good at giving advice and simply being there for someone who needs help, in any way, shape or form. She loves sports and is part of the Northwestern Women’s Basketball team (GO WILDCATS!). She also loves Harry Potter and anything to do with Friends. She puts 110% in everything she does, and is not discouraged when she does not attain the results she worked for but instead moves on to the next chapter stronger than before (which is very hard for her to do). She was able to develop this difficult skill through her 19 years of existence.

Haya Al-Mannai – WOW Leader

“I have measured my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S. Eliot.

Haya is a rising journalism junior, class of 2019! She was an ABP-NU-Q dual enrolled student before her admission into Northwestern. She enjoys literature, art, and architecture, which is why she loves being a student at Northwestern University in Qatar. SHe thinks that the liberal arts program at NU-Q is one of the best. During her free time, she tries to visit museums as often as she can, or discover cafes around Doha. It is almost impossible for her to function without caffeine and her favorite thing in the entire world is croissants. She’s also a big fan of hippie movies and is a really good driver. Most importantly, Haya is excited to meet all of the incoming students and can’t wait to introduce them to student life at NUQ.

Salwa Sadek – WOW Leader

“We are capable of more than we can imagine.”

Salwa Sadek is a rising sophomore majoring in Journalism, Class of 2020, and a WOW Leader of the New Students Program. Of Egyptian heritage but born and lived in Australia, then Saudi Arabia, and now Qatar, Salwa loves traveling, meeting new people and immersing herself in diverse cultures. Salwa’s intellectual interests range from the recent refugee crisis, to inequality and sport. A unifying factor throughout Salwa’s travels has been her national level swimming which has exposed her to the development of many skills that have helped her throughout her academic and personal journey. Through her studies, she hopes to amplify both her academic and personal interests and develop her skills in the area of visual storytelling. As part of her study efforts, Salwa enjoys collaborating with people from various backgrounds and exploring the way Western and Middle Eastern newsrooms and media organizations work. Being a part of a diverse class where she is exposed to differing perspectives, Salwa looks forward to further enriching her knowledge and challenging her own thoughts and ideas.

Awad Abdelrahman – Media Specialist

“I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge.” – Gerald Jampolsky

Awad is a rising communication sophomore and is a media specialist of team NSP’ 17. Writing music since the age of 11, Awad’s passion for music is the reason why he decided to join NU-Q and to major in Communication. After joining NU-Q, Awad realized he could do much more than write music and eventually his interest in filmmaking blossomed. Because Awad is Sudanese by blood, he is the laziest person you would ever meet, he always complains of having a lot of work when in fact he literally has nothing to do. He always looks uninterested to do any kind of work, but would always give his best when it comes to it. Awad is a professional basketball player playing in Al-Arabi Sports Club as well as Qatar’s National Basketball Team; he is also a member of NU-Q’s basketball team as well as the NU-Q football team. Awad is really into meeting new people and is always into trying new things.

Jia Naqvi – Media Specialist

"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Dumbledore

Jia is a rising journalism senior at Northwestern University in Qatar. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, she was born and raised in Doha. She has an undying love for photography—anything from macro photography to landscape photography—and she’s always the happiest when she has a camera in her hand. She has worked as a staff photographer for The Daily Q and as a media coordinator for the NU-Q Student Union. Photography is not all she is extremely passionate about, she also loves health, science and environment journalism. She was the first student from NU-Q and the first ever person to intern as a health, science and environment reporter at The Washington Post. She hit the jackpot and got the best of both worlds at her internship when she was able to be a photojournalist at the March for Science in Washington, D.C. In addition, as a research assistant for an associate professor of journalism at NU-Q, who also teaches a statistics course, she has co-authored multiple social science research papers that were published in world-renowned journals, like Information, Communication and Society. She also recently received a student fellowship to attend the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in October.

Wijdan Al Khateeb – Media Specialist

"...وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ"

“Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and love a thing and it is bad for you…” Holy Quran

Wijdan is a rising sophomore in communications at NU-Q. She was born and raised in Qatar, Palestinian by blood and Jordanian by passport. She started her university experience at NU-Q at 16 years old, and she is a part of NSP ‘17 as a Media Specialist partially for her love for capturing the moments that people don’t think are significant enough to be captured. Her love for filmmaking and producing content began in high school. Wijdan’s interests consist of editing, watching TV shows and eating. Even though she may be a picky eater, she enjoys food more than anything. Not only does she like to consume food, she also likes to (occasionally) make it. She is excited to help the Class of 2021 transition into NU-Q and welcome them into the wildcat family!

Indee Thotawattage – New Student Programs and First Year Experience

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for.” – John A. Shedd

Born in Sri Lanka, this expat brat spent her childhood in the Gulf, mostly in Dubai. Indee is NU-Q's Student Life Specialist and she mentors student leaders and advises student organizations. She also oversees the First Year Experience helping new students transition into life at NU-Q. Indee has a bachelor's degree in Culture and Politics, and is currently pursuing a master's in Global Diplomacy. She moved to Qatar in August 2010 and greatly enjoys her life in Doha. Her hobbies include traveling, hosting dinner parties, playing the djembe and scuba diving. She is excited to welcome the Class of 2021 and Transfer and Exchange Students to Doha and to NU-Q. Go 'Cats!

Back to top