Campus Profile: Ghalya

It’d be an understatement to say that Ghalya Al Sanea is a person that someone should get to know. Conversing with Ghalya is something someone would not try describing in fear that putting it into words would be a disservice to the uniqueness of the conversation.  As a first-year studying Architecture hailing from Kuwait, she has already learned a tremendous amount from CMU but also has started leaving impressions on the people and organizations she participates in.

On campus, she is involved with UNICEF and Forge, an organization that enriches the lives of refugees to catalyze sustainable social change. She currently serves as an SAT tutor at Forge, believing that serving as an educator is what’s expected of her and how she can best help refugees in Pittsburgh. For UNICEF, she serves as an Education Co-chair and helps plan out events such as Believe in Zero while also working with her peers on the Syrian refugee crisis. What she enjoys about these two organizations is their focus on service and providing sustainable change. Serving the broader community has always been second nature to her being from a country near other countries often plagued by war and corruption. Even in her house community, she is thoughtful to share and facilitate the values that are important to her. She currently is part of the Boss and McGill House Council where she helps plan events in the dorm community. One of her more memorable events from the past semester was a global potluck, where residents chose to make foods from their native home country and also educated other residents on their culture and heritage. Global awareness has always been important to how she carries her life and what she feels is necessary to be.

Ghalya’s interest in architecture stems from a deeper want to understand the world better. She has always gravitated towards solving puzzles, art, and math and she feels architecture is broad enough to tackle all these different subjects. Finding a skill set that can be utilized in many different ways drives her in her studies. While finding a passion is often pursued as a millennial, she is more concerned about walking away with having learned the most she can given her opportunities and completing projects that will fulfill others while also fulfilling her. In her free time, she likes to play music. You can sometimes find her just playing around on a piano a song she had just heard from the radio.


Praising a person and painting only a positive picture of a person can be harmful to a person simply because a little bit of their humanity is taken away when a picture is skewed. However, Ghalya’s mantra has always been self-improvement and this article doesn’t do her justice in the amount of work she puts in working towards to be a more holistic person. Her kindness might gravitate you towards her, but what keeps you in her orbit is her quirky sense of humor and her authenticity and expression of humanity. Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to meet her within the next five years at her stay at CMU.