Hanna Moazam in Rwanda
Hanna Moazam in Rwanda

Hanna Moazam contributes to Carnegie Mellon community on three continents

As we recognize the Class of 2020, we are looking at just a few of our 86 graduating seniors. Today we highlight Hanna Farooq Moazam, who graduated with a degree in Computer Science.


Hanna Moazam knew from the day she walked into Marhaba Tartans in April 2016 that CMU-Q would be the place for her. The annual event is held to introduce newly admitted students to the university. Hanna had been admitted to the information systems program, but she found herself drawn to computer science instead.

“CMU-Q was so friendly and helpful. The computer science professors spent a long time talking to me that night, and helped me understand the difference between the two programs. I switched to computer science, and it seems like that was the right decision.”

As she reflects on her four years at CMU-Q, Hanna sees that her initial impression of the university was correct.

“The culture at CMU-Q is unique. I can walk into a professor’s office and they know who I am. I’m not just another number in their classroom. I think that really contributed to my learning.”

For Hanna, a crucial aspect of her learning was the CMU-Q experience outside the classroom. She participated in service-learning trips and was a student leader for women’s basketball, Computing Club and Andrew Model United Nations, a club that introduces public policy and global leadership to university and high school students. One experience stands out for her, however.

Hanna led Project Rwanda, a community service initiative that brings together CMU students from Qatar, the US and Rwanda. Running for more than a decade, Project Rwanda involves building and teaching workshops for school teachers in Kigali. Students from all three campuses work together to deliver the annual learning opportunity.

“The level of responsibility was very different. You’re there to make a difference and a lot of people are depending on you. What was special with Project Rwanda was that it has a long term and sustainable impact.”

Through Project Rwanda, as well as a semester at CMU’s main campus in Pittsburgh, Hanna learned to appreciate the unique Carnegie Mellon culture.

“The general CMU culture is, very similar, no matter where you are. This is something that I noticed at CMU Africa and on main campus. When I was at Heathrow airport, someone who graduated 40 years ago from CMU noticed the logo on my bag and there was an instant connection. It’s a very welcoming environment.”

As Hanna looks back, she believes her CMU-Q experience has shaped who she is today. “I can appreciate the value of the challenging environment a lot more in hindsight. It’s harder to realize when you’re in the middle of it, but I can’t imagine the person I would be today if I hadn’t spent the last four years at CMU-Q. .”

Hanna plans to gain work experience before doing postgraduate studies and is looking at research-oriented and software engineering jobs, both in Qatar and abroad.

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