QF’s PUE graduate, Rowida Mounier, aspires to study genomics to be able to help her community
Rowida Mounier may seem like a regular 14-year-old girl, heading off to school every morning carrying her backpack. But she is actually preparing to start her college life soon.
My friends at school would joke with me and say ‘you went to school as soon as you were born
When she was only 13, she joined Qatar Foundation’s Academic Bridge Program (ABP) – a pre-university foundation program designed for high school graduates – and this year became the youngest student to graduate from the program.
“My friends at school would joke with me and say ‘you went to school as soon as you were born’,” Rowida says.
Rowida’s story started in Saudi Arabia where she did her initial schooling. Her mother, Maha Abdulwakeel Mousa, would help her children with their homework, but she noticed that Rowida didn’t need much help – she was very intelligent, and a fast learner.
I took it upon myself to start teaching her at home. She managed to study all levels up to grade 7 within just two years
“Rowida was ahead of her siblings, and I thought that she deserved more. So I took it upon myself to start teaching her at home. She managed to study all levels up to grade 7 within just two years.
“And when we moved to Qatar, I enrolled her at the Sudanese school where she completed her high school degree and joined ABP straight after,” Maha says.
In that time, Rowida also accomplished other achievements besides her studies. She memorizes chapters from Al-Alfiyya of Ibn Malik, a rhymed book of Arabic grammar, and chapters from the Nuniyya of Imam al-Qahtani, and chapters from Qur'anic recitation poems such as Ibn al-Jazari’s and Tuhfat Al Atfal.
Driving Rowida’s journey is her ambition to study medicine and specialize in genomics so that she is able to help her community.
“When I was in high school, I did an internship at Hamad General Hospital, in the department that worked with children with special needs. The experience had a huge impact on me. And it was at this point that I made up my mind to specialize in studying genomics, to try and discover treatments for genetic disorders, and help the community,” Rowida explains.
Everyone was very friendly, and I never felt that I was any less or different from my peers because of my age. It really felt like home to me
Rowida says the time she spent studying at the QF campus was the best time of her life. She describes it as a transformational experience, where she was introduced to university life, and where she also learned a lot from her experiences.
“Everyone was very friendly, and I never felt that I was any less or different from my peers because of my age. It really felt like home to me.”