Six degrees of education
Jordanian siblings use diplomas to launch
international business ventures
by Sherry Wodraska Neaves
||In 1979, six Saad
siblings were enrolled at UTA at the same time. From left: Mohammed
Saad, Meisa Saad Maani, Hinda Saad Shalan, Sereena Saad and
Saad Al-Saad. Not pictured is Mashal Saad, who lives in Boston
Arlington, Texas, lies half a world away from
Amman, Jordan, but all six siblings in the Saad family earned their
degrees from UTA.
The children followed their father, Nayef, to
diplomatic posts throughout the world and at most stops attended
American schools. That association eventually brought the second
son, whose first name is also Saad, to the United States for his
Saad needed to find a school with a variety of
majors where his five siblings could study. Finances were important
because at one timefall 1979all six were enrolled simultaneously.
These factors, plus the School of Architectures international
reputation, brought him to UTA.
Brother Mohammed and sister Hinda soon joined
Saad in Arlington, enrolling in the architecture and civil engineering
programs. Then it was sister Meisas turn.
|By the time Sereena and I
got out of high school, UTA had become a kind of family tradition.
I dont remember ever thinking about going anywhere else.
Saad (85 BS)
Dad, Mom, Sereena and I came to the U.S.
to drop her off and maybe go to Disney World, youngest brother
Mashal said. I was 14 and Sereena 15. We got to DFW Airport
at 2 a.m. on the Fourth of July and the next morning went to the
big parade. It was great. Then Dad came up with the idea that the
two youngest, Sereena and I, should go to high school in Arlington,
so the family could all be together.
Meisa enrolled in the UTA
School of Architecture while Sereena and Mashal attended Arlington
High School. We never did get to Disney World,
Mashal said. But we did go to Six Flags.
Saad graduated in 1979
with a bachelor of science in architecture and a bachelor of arts
in political science. Hinda followed later that year with a B.S.
in civil engineering. Mohammed and Meisa both earned B.S. degrees
in architecture in 1980. In 1985, Sereena graduated with a bachelor
of business administration, and Mashal earned his bachelor of science
By the time Sereena
and I got out of high school, UTA had become a kind of family tradition,
Mashal said. I dont remember ever thinking about going
Today the siblings, with
the exception of Mashal (who lives in Boston), are all back in Jordan
and all working in family businesses.
Saad is founder and chairman
of Mediterranean Group International, a holding company for three
family enterprisesMedDesign, MedMedia and MedIT/Boston IT.
The holding company works mainly in identity management, emphasizing
design, media and technology.
Meisa is managing director
of MedDesign, which is recognized throughout the Middle East as
a trend-setter in architectural design.
Far away in Boston, Mashal
develops computer systems, as Boston IT assists MedIT in making
information technology available to the people of Jordan and the
Sereena serves as the holding
companys director of management information systems, and Hinda
is the firms engineering consultant. Mohammed is also a board
member of MedGroup International, plus he serves as the senior vice
president for the Middle East with Hillwood Strategic Services.
Another generation of Saads
now studies in a bilingual preparatory school in Amman. Will any
of them come to UTA? No one knows yet, but its certainly an
option. After all, as Mashal says, Why study in the U.S.?
Its the best place to go.