Bend It Like Hamza

Moulay Hamza Kanzi Belghiti found the recipe to balancing his academic pursuits through the power of sports

Donning his cleats and taking to the pitch is routine for Moulay Hamza Kanzi Belghiti. It is a moment where he can take his mind from the demanding research and coursework offered by NYU Abu Dhabi’s master’s program and immerse himself in the beautiful game.

Despite his packed schedule, Belghiti says that playing soccer regularly allows him to return to his studies with focus and determination — it is a tactic he has employed numerous times in his impressive academic career.

Since he was a young child, Belghiti has always had a natural flair for soccer. His talents on the field caught the eye of several US college soccer coaches scouting new players. When Belghiti accepted an offer to study economics at Princeton, a class on oil and energy in the Middle East piqued his interest in the region.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada to Moroccan parents, Belghiti had an interest in reconnecting with his roots in the Middle East around the same time he was researching graduate schools. NYUAD offered him the opportunity to study economics in the region.

During his time at NYUAD, Belghiti participated in the University’s community outreach programs as a way to connect with the city and engage in meaningful interactions with the local community. He also attended graduate conferences where he was able to network with private and public companies. 

Belghiti is hoping to stay in the UAE and gain work experience after graduation that combines his two passions — economics and football. He is exploring a career in sports consultancy with the aim of contributing to a region set to become a global sports hub.