My UAE: A positive future ahead for Khaled AlHosani

A profile of the Emirati computer-science student and military-service graduate Khaled Al Hosani.

Khaled AlHosani is a first-year student at New York University Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
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Khaled AlHosani’s proudest achievement in his life so far is ­participating in the military parade on National Day.

“Seeing the crowds cheer at our performance was exhilarating and breathtaking,” he says. “I felt happiness at being a part of an event that the entire country was involved in.”

The 18-year-old, who just started at New York University Abu Dhabi, has spent the past nine months doing his military service. And while it was tough at the start, he’s pleased to have done it.

“Military service is tough at first, but it gets better as time passes, once you settle into it, you can see it benefiting you. You learn to be more independent and better at cooperation.”

AlHosani, who was born in Al Ain, has a strong interest in computer science. “Computer science is about collaboration, clever solutions and a willingness to create,” he says. “It is and always will be relevant in a world that is dominated by computers in all forms, shapes and sizes.”

He says the best part about his chosen field is “seeing a program run smoothly after hours of ­tinkering”.

When he doesn’t have a computer in front of him, AlHosani enjoys reading and listening to podcasts, and while he doesn’t know what his future holds, he has a positive outlook thanks to the support of his family.

“My family have been incredibly supportive. They have always pushed me to be the best version of myself. They are constantly interested in my well-being, and even when I stay at university for a few days, I get daily calls from them to check up on me.”

When it comes to the work ­environment after he leaves university, AlHosani believes many employers underuse motivated staff in their companies.

“While experience is important, I know many young people who are frustrated doing jobs they are overqualified for simply because they haven’t clocked up as many hours,” he says. “I simply hope that my years at NYU prepare me for what life throws at me next.”

What do you do to relax?

I listen to music or podcasts.

What's your favourite place to visit in the UAE?

My friend’s majlis. During the summer when all my friends are off school or back in the country from university abroad, all it takes is one text message to gather them and have a great evening.

What music is currently on your car stereo?

The Icelandic folk band Of Monsters and Men's album My Head Is an Animal. I like it because it's slow, quiet, and powerful.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never give up.

What's your favourite film?

The Usual Suspects, because it features Kevin Spacey doing what he does best.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

I would be a more active individual. I wish I went to the gym or played a sport, but I always feel too busy or tired.

Who inspires you and why?

[The author] Neil Gaiman. He’s my absolute favourite writer. His work is potent and mesmerising. Always part myth, part novel.

What's your favourite food?

Sushi. You can always drown it in soy sauce if it’s bad.

Describe yourself in five words.

Dedicated, passionate, reader, humble, helpful.

What is your favourite quote?

“One thing I’ve learnt: you can know anything, it’s all there, you just have to find it.” – Neil Gaiman