Oleh: Farizal Hakiki

Berikut wawancara antara Lyse Doucet (LD) dari BBC Inggris dengan mahasiswa KAUST (S: Student) yang berkewarganegaraan Saudi Arabia.

Rekaman asli bisa didapatkan di link berikut [LINK].

Percakapan itu kurang lebih sebagai berikut:

S1: My name is Yasmin Najm and I am studying my PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering. Saudi Arabia is obviously very conservative country but KAUST is very different. When I came here back in 2011 just a year before I graduated from my bachelor, I wished really an ugh… I didn’t expect this, like creating in the middle of nowhere. It is just amazing.

LD: It doesn’t add that you can work with both Saudi men and women here?

S1: Yes, of course. I meant, people here have to have different mentality to be able to work because normally it is quite conservative country. So, mixing with the other gender is not a normal thing but I think, slowly, we are starting to develop this like openess.

LD: And a huge story of great one of the educated PhD Saudi students can’t find a job, are you worried?

S1: Well, to be honest, I was little a bit worried after the oil crisis because jobs are litle bit more difficult to find. But, to be honest, it is really hard to find people who are postgraduates and specialized field. So, I don’t think we will have any trouble once we graduate because there is a lot of room for improvements in this country. (Because) It is still a developing country so we are starting to really open up businesses, open up companies. And alot of companies are really interested in Saudi Arabia. So, i think we won’t really have any troubles at least in our fields because we are doing science and engineering. So, it is always a needed area. So, I think we won’t have any trouble with that.

S2: My name is Mohamed Al Shobai. I am doing a master in statistics and I am 23 years old.

LD: You went abroad. You went to the one world’s best institution (to) MIT. Why did you come home?

S2: The first step that took me to MIT was going in KAUST Undergraduate Scholarship: The KAUST Institute Students Program. And so, they plugged me out of highschool. Um okay they said, “You need some work, we can develop to make you top candidate for colleges”. So, they sent me in a course into Penssilvania for a year. So that I understands how US applications worked. That was the first step that KAUST has, sort of, been there a long the way. Wheter I needed to find some places to work over the summer.
If I wanted to go to a conference. So, It’s only felt natural that I come home rather than go outside.

LD: And for you, a young Saudi man to be studying with Saudi women which is quite exceptional this is the only place where men and women studying together. Would you say it is a good thing to do that you could deserve benefit to it or you are not so sure?

S2: Absolutely, you mentioned a context of studying right? Academically for example, it is said that there are more Saudi women graduates universities than our men’. So, there is clearly something to be learnt academically from our female counterparts.
Socially, I think it is important for people of both genders get to meet the others. Just to understand what the issues of each gender faces, right? I meant, at the end of the day, everyone contributes to our country but you can only do that if you know what the entire society wants not just your hearth.

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