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Meet Tamara Sakaji, Engineering Major & World Traveler

Tamara and I met in a very strange way. I was sitting in a common study area and heard two people chatting away behind me in Arabic. I found this a difficult language to pick up, but I managed to learn a few words living in Abu Dhabi, a city in the United Arab Emirates. I wasn’t entirely sure if this was the language they were speaking. However, as soon as I heard a familiar Arabic word, I immediately turned around and asked her whether or not she was speaking Arabic. Turns out we live in the same city, Abu Dhabi, and our high schools were somewhat next to each other. What are the odds? We never met back home but met right here in Iowa City. It’s a small world! After that we became fast friends, and she’s the most cheerful and high-spirited person I know. Keep reading to get to know Tamara!

Major: Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Amman, Jordan

Favourite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy. The main reason I’m failing my classes is because of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m joking.)

Celebrity Crush: Patrick Dempsey

Dream Holiday Destination: Jordan. There’s no place like home.

Favourite Snack: Fruits, especially mangos, and chocolate.

What’s your favorite spot in Iowa City? 

Probably somewhere on the Pentacrest. I love spending time there because that’s where you get a great view of Iowa City. I also really like hanging out near the playground downtown.

What made you choose Iowa?

Fate. I applied to so many places and got in as well, but my father wanted me to apply to Iowa because he wanted to study here when he was my age, so I chose Iowa City.

What’s your favorite holiday destination?

I enjoyed Turkey a lot. It’s so beautiful, the nature’s amazing, their food, the culture, as well as tradition. These are the things I absolutely love.

If you had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This question should be illegal, it’s so hard to decide! If I had to pick one thing though, it would be Waraa’ enab. It’s a traditional Middle Eastern dish that’s basically another word for heaven. (To be honest, if you asked me this question tomorrow, you’d get another answer.)

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to pursue, or is currently in Engineering?

Don’t freak out if you don’t have everything figured out because that is totally normal! Also, don’t freak out if you’re unsure about your major because the basic classes in engineering are there to guide you and help you figure out what you’re passionate about. The most important I’m stressing on, though, are internships! They change your perspectives and makes everything clearer. It’s never too early to start!

What do you love the most about your major?

How, what and why were questions that never seemed to leave my mind as a kid. So, having the ability to understand how most things work around you, how everything is linked together and how to fix something whenever it malfunctions never fails to interest me, and it makes me feel like Superwoman.

What would you say to the girl you were in high school?

Dear high school Tamara, thank you. Thank you for being you, thank you for dreaming and thank you for being wild and adventurous. Thank you for not being scared to travel half way across the world to pursue your dream. Thank you for believing in me, but girl, please do learn how to cook traditional food on your own.

Who inspires you?

Hands down my family. On the toughest and darkest days, the mere thought of my parents is more than enough to get me back on track. Words always fail me when it comes to my family because there are just not enough to explain how amazing they are. So I stopped using words all together.

Ridhima Jagtap is a college newbie, a.k.a a freshman, working towards a degree in the field of journalism. You'll often find her chasing after cats and watching adorable cat videos on YouTube. If she's not doing this then she'll be singing her lungs out so that her whole floor can hear her. She hopes to blow people away with writing what she's passionate about. Books, music and a lot of animals!
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