Does your name have a special meaning? I was named after one of the prophets in my religion (Islam) and it means "good man."
Country: Kuwait (its near Dubai)
Major: Chemical Engineering
Class Year: 2019
Tell us about yourself: I’m 20-years-old and I was born in Kentucky. My father was studying for his PhD at the time at Eastern Kentucky University. Traveling is my passion and my family is the most important thing in my life. Also, I am a big movie buff. I enjoy Disney and war films. Tarzan is my favorite Disney movie of all time.
Why did you choose to come to CBU? CBU has an excellent engineering school. I love the small-campus feel, and it’s a great way to meet people. The professors are extremely helpful as well. The atmosphere is very positive at the University, and I am confident that I will have many opportunities to choose from once I am done with the program.
What are your involvements at CBU? I’ve done September of Service twice. It was life-changing for me. I like to help others and to be of service while making people feel better about themselves.
What advice do you have for new international students to help them adjust to life in the U.S.? Leaving your country your country can be tough — but it will make you stronger in the end. I would encourage them to be respectful everywhere you go. And don’t lose your sense of identity, your culture, traditions, and habits.
What do you enjoy most about being an international student at CBU? I have friends from all over the world. I love it when people ask me about my country, religion, my name, or my language.
If CBU students visited your country, where should they go and why? They should visit downtown Kuwait, and check out the Kuwait towers. Avenues Mall is a hot spot for locals and tourists. The Grand Mosque is a must-see, along with Soug Almubarkia, Alshaheed Park, and the Dickson House Cultural Center.
What is the name of your favorite restaurant in Memphis? Chick-fil-a is my favorite restaurant. I go there 6-7 times a week. I always order the #1 combo. It’s very good. And the employees know me by my name when I walk in, they always say “Hi Saleh!”
Do you have a hangout spot on campus? I like to sit on the soccer field and play the Oud. It’s an Arabic instrument. I also like to play squash in my spare time. It is similar to racquetball.
What is your favorite class and why? Speech class is my favorite so far. Vicky Dabney was my professor. She was very helpful.
Is there anything else you think the CBU Community needs to know? In Kuwait, family ties are important. We all live together in the same home — even after you turn 25. In America, people tend to leave their parents’ home after a certain age. If a woman marries, she has a choice to live in her husband’s family home, or stay with her family (the husband moves in), or they can move into a new apartment.
In our culture, families gather every Friday and Saturday to visit the mother’s side of the family and the father’s side the next day or vice versa. And if you skip too many family gatherings, the elders will call you and scold you for not attending. Also, we do not have a problem with racism in our country. It just doesn’t exist.
Also, the Kuwaiti people are very fancy, and we like to look good all the time. A big misconception people have about me is, they think my family owns camels and oil. However, my cousin owns a farm with horses and camels.
Also, in my culture we read from right to left — Arabic is our language. In English, it’s the opposite.