Name: Aly Kassim-Lakha
Birthday: February 9, 1993
Languages: English, French
Major: Finance, OPIM, and Accounting
Hometown: Toronto, Canada. My parents are from Kenya but my great-grandparents were Indian
Extracurriculars: Consultant for the Wharton Small Business Development Center, freshman representative for the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club, lots of work in entrepreneurship (residential program in Ware College House)
What do you miss most about Canada?
Probably the hockey. Also my friends, my family, and free health care. I also don’t have allergies in Canada, but in the States I do...and I have to pay for the medicine because this isn’t Canada.
What countries have you been to, and where would you like to travel someday?
I’ve been to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malaysia, Thailand, India, China, Japan, Singapore, France, England, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the Caribbean, and Tunisia. I’d like to go to Greece, South America, and the Middle East. I also want to go back to France.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Charming, active, conscientious.
Any hidden talents?
Nothing special, but I do a lot of public speaking, debate, etc. I also play a lot of sports like hockey, football, baseball, basketball, and tennis.
Favorite food: Thai food. My life hasn’t been the same since my friends introduced me to Pad Thai.
Favorite restaurant in Philly: It’s a three-way tie between Hummus, Pattaya, and New Delhi. Oh, and Banana Leaf. I love food.
Favorite pick-up line: “Let’s count shoulders.” My second favorite is “girl, you must be exhausted because you’ve been running through my mind all day.”
Celebrity crush: Keira Knightley.
Best pranks you’ve pulled off:
I was able to get into one of my friends’ rooms and while he was at breakfast I took all his clothes and tied them into a huge rope of clothing. I proceeded to hang the rope of clothing from the junior balcony on top of McClelland. When he left McClelland after breakfast he noticed that there were clothes hanging and I believe he said, “I’d hate to be that person.” Little did he know that it was all his!
Another time I was able to get into the same friend’s room, and on his wall he had photos of himself that spelled “India.” I thought his room needed redecorating… so I rearranged the photos to spell out “Aly.” Somehow, he knew it was me.
Most embarrassing moment at Penn:
I don’t know if this is embarrassing or just heartwarming but I was in SHS when I first got to Penn and I was trying to find a shortcut after stopping by International House to get my documents approved (something only international students have to deal with) and somehow on my way back to the Quad I ended up on Baltimore Avenue. It was raining cats and dogs outside and I ended up being really late to convocation…and my clothes were wet. I even called a new friend I made during NSO and he gave me the wrong directions; he intentionally misled me.
Best Penn memory:
Probably the third or fourth night of NSO — I was with my new friends and one night instead of going out we just stayed in and played ping pong, ate crêpes and watched movies. It was delightful because those friends turned out to be my best friends at Penn.
Oh, and also the night my friends surprised me on my birthday with tickets to see a hockey game (Toronto vs. Philadelphia). They gave me two tickets and when I got there they were all waiting for me. That same night they got me my favorite kind of cake from The Cheesecake Factory and then they took me back to my room, which they had decorated, and one of my friends got me a signed jersey from my favorite hockey team.