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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:

Fall 2018 Team

Awad Abdelrahman - Co-Chair

"I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge." - Gerald Jampolsky

A communications junior and a professional basketball player, Awad was born and raised in Qatar but is Sudanese by blood. He is very awkward yet surprisingly funny at times. In his spare time, Awad likes to write music, poetry, or sleep - which happens most of the time. Even though he always looks tired or as if he just woke up, he is the most hyper student in NUQ. He is always singing, dancing or simply making a fool out of himself all over NUQ. He is also very excited to meet and welcome the Class of 2022.

Ayza Sheikh - Co-Chair

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

Ayza is a communications junior and a giant space nerd. Her notebooks, her bedroom walls and her phone background all have pictures of planets and stars. Rumour 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 return to NSP as a Co-Chair this year and to meet the class of 2022!

Sarah Shaath - Senior Media Specialist

"Pain is temporary." 

A junior majoring in journalism, Sarah is originally Palestinian but was born and raised in the United Kingdom. She likes to travel and enjoys learning new languages and meeting new people from all over the world. She has been involved in clubs and student organizations such as NUQSU, NSP, The Daily Q and is a part of the women's basketball team. Her passion for journalism derives from her passion to search and report on the truth. Sarah also has a passion for sports and enjoys working in teams and being a part of a community. The only reason she’s gotten through two years of university is by watching a Friends episode every day as it keeps her going. She believes that working hard is temporary but the outcome is permanent.

Rui Xin Oh - Media Specialist

"After time adrift among open stars, among tides of light and to shoals of dust, I will return to where I began.” - Tali’Zorah, Mass Effect

Rui is a communications sophomore from Singapore. She enjoys good food, but values good company even more - who doesn’t? During her free time, she loves to read fiction books and play video games. She finds it a shame that not many people play them. Apart from that, she likes listening to classical music and going out to hike or cycle every now and then. Though, to be honest, she isn’t doing much of the latter. As to why that is so, no one has a clue. But, it’s okay because there is no place for judgement at Northwestern. She loves that about the people at NU-Q and also, realizes what she just typed sounded like a deliberate advertisement for Northwestern. Pinkie promise, it is not. She is very much thrilled to be a part of NSP this year to welcome the Class of 2022!

Fathima Faaiza Feroz - Media Specialist

"To a great mind, nothing is little." - Sherlock Holmes

Faaiza is a communications sophomore who has a passion for all things art. Even though she was born and raised in Qatar, she is originally from Sri Lanka. She loves to create content through different platforms, such as drawing and filming, in a way that provokes people to feel something and open up their mind to something new. Her highly ambitious nature is very evident and she would someday hope to digitize her drawings and sell them on apparel. She’s looking forward to being in Team NSP as a Media Specialist and getting to know the Class of 2022.

Inaara Nizarali Gangji - WOW Leader

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." - Dr. Seuss

Inaara is a journalism sophomore who grew up as a fourth culture kid. You might think that's weird but she is of Indian origin, was born and raised in Tanzania (she's a third generation Tanzanian), went to an international boarding school in Kenya and then moved to Doha to join NU-Q. She is passionate about writing, reporting, photography, food, socio-political issues, feminism, art, culture, travel, environmental sustainability and international development. She also loves getting involved at university, being a NU-Q Admission Diplomat and a member of the Daily Q and the Residence Hall Association (RHA). She has also been a member of the Student Union and was on the Service Learning Trip to Cambodia this year. So, if you're interested in any of these opportunities, you know who to look for (join the RHA - it's fun and it needs new members!). She is excited to lead and plan activities as a WOW leader and meet the Class of 2022. Fun fact: she speaks 6 languages.

Hatim Rachdi - WOW Leader

“Owning your mistakes is the way to go and to let go!” - Hatim Rachdi

A communication sophomore from Morocco, Hatim is a foodie procrastinator, whose desk lights sleep at 4AM (#BEaNightOwlorDie). He grew up in Taliouine, a small village in the south of Morocco. He was an active advocate in the National Child Parliament and made their smile his cause. Hatim is very energetic and always up for a healthy debate. Before coming to NU-Q, he was a Mathematics student and he is still passionate about the challenging nature of science and channels it into creative projects. He is also an active social entrepreneur and loves entrepreneurship in service of social causes. He is the CMO of Ag Automation, a prizewinning tech agriculture startup in the Arab Innovation Academy. He also loves acting, and the feeling of being a part of a cast, sharing wonderful moments with them. It makes him feel happy He loves the ability to play multiple roles and excel at every one of them. Wanna have fun? He is your go-to guy!

Manan Bhavnani - WOW Leader

“Dignity. Always dignity.” - Don Lockwood, Singin' in the Rain

A journalism sophomore and an art enthusiast, Manan has been writing poetry for 5 years, has 3 books out online and plans to eventually go into writing full time. He is also a firm believer in press freedom and wants to work as a journalist in the coming years, covering politics. Manan is immensely passionate about football and supports Manchester City. He is interested in film and documentary and hopes to get involved in those aspects of media during his time at NU-Q. Among other things, he takes pride in the Northwestern community, in Qatar and globally, which might explain his love for Stephen Colbert. He looks forward to welcoming the Class of 2022 as they join NU-Q, and by extension, the greater community.

Muhammad Sikandar Ali Chaudary - Peer Advisor

Sikandar is a journalism sophomore, and pivotal member of the NU-Q debating society. He was born and raised in Pakistan. His interests include public speaking, playing squash and following international politics. Sometimes, you will also see him at the basketball games, chanting slogans for the Wildcats. He is always up for good conversation, enjoys meeting new people, and loves binge watching TV. His favorite show is Suits. Kudos ‘22 and remember: “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

Tony El Ghazal - Peer Advisor

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” - Seth Godin

Tony was born and raised in Qatar but originally Lebanese. He is a communication sophomore who enjoys creating content of all types, especially video. He has been making videos since he was 11. Tony really enjoys watching films, especially Disney movies and musicals. As a professional career, he aspires to be a future filmmaker and movie director who creates films that make people think. In his free time, Tony likes to try out new things as long as they are not food-related. He is really excited to be a Peer Advisor at NSP drawing on his experience as a freshman last year.

Razi Al Islam - Peer Advisor

Razi epitomizes casual and chill. In fact, he is so chilled out that he couldn’t be bothered to write up a bio. Unsolicited advice to his pride: please challenge Razi with a lot of questions and see if you can get him to lose his cool - highly doubt it though!

Hanmin Kim - Peer Advisor

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." - Confucius

Hanmin is a journalism sophomore, born and raised in Korea. He went to a Canadian international school in China and after graduating, served his duty as a Korean Navy sailor for two years, that was a great opportunity to serve his people. Hanmin also really likes to play soccer and his favorite soccer team is Real Madrid, meaning that he likes Ronaldo much more than Messi. At NU-Q, he plays soccer as a part of the NU-Q men’s soccer team. He is so excited to be a Peer Advisor and can’t wait to meet the class of 2022!

Nada Ahmed Qaddourah - Peer Advisor

“We live in a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don’t believe in miracles?” - Unknown

Nada was born and raised in Doha, Qatar, but is originally Palestinian. She is a journalism sophomore and is inspired to be creative, impactful and hopefully someday make a difference. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her nephew and two nieces until of course, they start to cry or grow past the age of three. In her free time, she likes to binge watch TV shows, spend time with friends or go to the kitchen where she attempts to cook, but fails miserably as she can barely fry an egg. She loves going on any spontaneous adventure as long as there is good company and food. Nada is very excited to meet and welcome the class of 2022 to NU-Q and looks forward to being a good peer advisor to new freshmen.

Razan Hussam Ghadban - Peer Advisor

“Step outside of your comfort zone, for that’s where life truly begins.” - Rapunzel, Tangled

Razan is a journalism sophomore who is well known to be a pro in binge watching TV shows. She was born and raised in Qatar, but is originally Palestinian. Razan loves making a change and leaving a mark on the world, which is why she chose to be a journalist. She has a passion for creating documentaries, and she watches a lot of them too. Razan aspires to cover stories that were never covered before in the future and to report from places that the news nowadays doesn’t mention a lot and neglect. This is because Razan’s favorite thing to do is going to places that she has never been to before and trying new things. She loves food in general. However, when she gets stressed, ice cream is all what she eats. Razan is looking forward to meeting the class of 2022 and to tell them that THEY MADE IT!

Sana Hussain - Peer Advisor

“You’re allowed to be wrong. You’re not allowed to not learn from being wrong.” - Dan Carlin

Sana is a journalism junior who thinks she is very self-aware because she can guess the results of her BuzzFeed personality quizzes before she receives them. Her favourite pastime is to binge watch the Bachelor/the Bachelorette while eating ice cream out of a tub (sometimes she has watch-parties too, you just have to ask). She also loves walking, and can walk for hours and hours on end, but will trip an average of 4 times an hour. She is super excited to meet the Class of 2022.

Oleksandra Kotsyrii - Peer Advisor

Alex, as she is fondly called, is a communication sophomore and the first Ukrainian student at NU-Q. She describes herself as an adventurous person because she likes to challenge herself. That's why she became an exchange student in the US and graduated from two high schools. Since her childhood, Alex enjoys travelling and learning new languages. She has visited more than 25 countries and she speaks 4 languages. She is really interested in ballroom dancing and has been dancing for the past 10 years. She views ballroom dancing as a great combination of sport and art. She is also passionate about social media and photography. Being an international student, she knows how it feels to be away from family and her comfort zone. She is not afraid of failures, because she finds a lot of meaning in the phrase: "Something that doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."

Xiruo Chen - Peer Advisor

“Don’t panic, take your towel.” - Douglas Adams

Xiruo is a communication sophomore from Beijing, China. She is a good tennis player and also likes to swim. In her free time, she enjoys watching films, especially science fiction. Her favorite science fiction is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in the form of both movie and novel. Her favorite director is Wes Anderson, whose new film Isle of Dogs will be released soon in Doha, so she highly recommends incoming freshmen to go watch it in their last summer before college. She wants to say congratulations and welcome to the Class of 2022.

Dania Abu Hassan - Peer Advisor

“Sometimes all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.”

Dania is a communication senior (but don’t let the title fool you). She loves her dog, has too much energy, lives at the beach, and is a gym freak. She’s often found being a little too adventurous for her own good, but those are usually her best memories. She also has a fear of being basic so please no judgments. Being at NU-Q for three years has taught her more about herself than she would like to admit and she’s only now realizing it’s time to savor every NU-Q moment. She can’t wait to meet the class of 2022!

Danna Takriti - Peer Advisor

“Existence alone had never been enough for him; he had always wanted more.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Danna is a journalism sophomore from Palestine and the United States, who enjoys long walks on the beach and deep conversations whilst staring at the stars admiringly. No, but on a more serious note, Danna has too many aspirations to fit in this small little bio, but two of them include SFX make-up, and sculpting. They allow her to create something out of nothing which is a pretty cool feeling. She also enjoys learning about the human body, but the more she learns about the body the more she becomes a hypochondriac and wishes she didn’t know what she knew. For example, she says things like: “Oh what is this weirdly shaped dot on my face? Probably cancer,” and “Oh my hands hurt? Let’s check what WebMD has to say about that,” (please never check what WebMD has to say about anything). Overall, she enjoys doing many things, but nothing beats meeting new people and making new connections, and is looking forward to doing just that through Team NSP. Go Wildcats!

Mayyassa Gaddas - Peer Advisor

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no-one can imagine.” - Alan Turing

Mayyassa is a half-Tunisian, half-Lebanese communication sophomore who loves everything art and film. She enjoys painting, sketching and listening to the Interstellar soundtrack by Hans Zimmer on repeat (because how can you not). She’s a super picky eater but loves food nonetheless; her favorite being sushi. Her passions include photography, tennis, Christopher Nolan films and her dog; Oscar (yes, he’s named after the golden statue). She’s a feminist and strongly believes in the sustainability of the environment. After being vegan for a year and a half, she became interested in researching about the effects of animal agriculture on climate change and has written multiple papers based on the issue. She’s a huge space geek, is obsessed with watching space documentaries, and even wanted to work at NASA. She loves meeting and making connections with new people and looks forward to doing so as a peer advisor in the 2018 NSP team!

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. Indee is NU-Q's Student Life Specialist and she mentors student leaders and advises student organizations. She also oversees the First Year Experience which helps 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, meeting new people, checking out decent live music venues and trying out new food. She is excited to welcome the Class of 2022 and Transfer and Exchange Students to Doha and to NU-Q. Go 'Cats!
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