Reconnecting Roots

Despite growing up in the US, Emirati Mohammed Alhammadi explained his reasons for wanting to pursue his college education back in Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed Alhammadi was a few months old when he moved to the US from Abu Dhabi. 15 years later when Alhammadi moved back.

His high school held a university fair and after leaving the hall, there was no doubt in Alhammadi’s mind which university he was going to apply to.

The moment I was introduced to NYUAD, that was literally my dream university. I only applied to one university and that’s NYUAD.

Mohammed Alhammadi, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2025

“I was so dead set on NYUAD that if I didn’t get accepted this year, I would take a gap year so that I can apply again,” Alhammadi said.

It was the liberal arts education at NYUAD that attracted Alhammadi. With varied interests from film to political science, Alhammadi really liked the idea that he could explore both interests during his university years to figure things out.

“I’m still not sure what I’d like to go into (as a major) and the way liberal arts education at NYUAD is set up is perfect,” Alhammadi said.

Working towards an acceptance from his dream university, Alhammadi became very deliberate in his activities and studies during high school. He signed up for the Arab Film Studio Young Filmmakers Workshop to deepen his film interest, but also to interact and learn from NYUAD faculty. Alhammadi also joined the NYU precollege program to immerse himself further.

A short while after Alhammadi got accepted into NYUAD, he shaved off all his hair. “I have a personal tradition where every time I start a new phase of my life, I’ll shave my hair off,” Alhammadi explained.

Spending his time now back in the UAE after growing up in the US, Alhammadi had enjoyed reconnecting with his family, roots, and traditions. And it is one of the things Alhammadi would like to contribute to the diverse student body — personally introducing his schoolmates to the rich UAE culture and the meanings behind them.