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12 December 2012

Husam Hilal ('11): A Cut Above

Almost immediately after completing his education at Bethlehem University, Mr. Husam Hilal ('11) went to work in the United States. Majoring in Computer Information Systems with a minor in Math, he gained excellent skills that have taken him all the way to Virginia USA.  

Studying Computer Information Systems was an easy and interest-driven choice for Husam, who, since his childhood in Beit Sahour, has been fascinated by computers. While enrolled as a student at Bethlehem University, Husam did a part-time Mr. Husam Hilalinternship with ZEVA, Inc., a small computer company that works in both Palestine and in the United States. They were impressed with his intelligence and abilities, and after graduation they hired him full-time at their Chantilly, Virginia site. Although Husam misses Palestine greatly, he knew he had to take advantage of this unique opportunity to expand his skillset.

"Software has its own life-cycle and this makes it very exciting," said Husam, whose expertise is software engineering. He is interested especially in software applications for the rapidly changing and innovative markets of smart-phones and tablets – applications that have the potential to change the world overnight!

He selected Bethlehem University for his studies because it was close to home, but also for its academic programs and the caring community. "I found excellent teachers who cared about their students and the Brothers were so nice tMr. Husam Hilaloward the students in everything they did," Husam said. "My Dad passed away during my second year, and the Brothers and all the faculty knew how hard it was for me. It was final exam time, yet they let me know that I could do it and do it well – they made me feel comfortable at a hard, hard time – a time when I needed to feel I could keep moving forward… Whenever something was happening I knew the Brothers were there for me."

Husam's grades were always high, which enabled him to receive scholarships. Husam received the Benjamin Moley Stork Endowed Scholarship for the academic years of 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011.  The donors, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Moley of the Moley Family Foundation, are seen by Husam as "life-savers who saw in me the very best and gave me a chance to enhance my studies by focusing fully on them. This taught me that knowledge is better than money because knowledge lasts as long as you live, but money can quickly pass away." In everything he does, he remembers the Moley’s generosity, and in the work he does today he tries to give the best they saw in him to others whom he comes in contact with.

"I believe in knowledge and gaining experience in life," Husam said. "I like to think about things deeply, not just from the outside or the surface – I like to dig in. I try to observe what is going on around me and to take from it in ways that will bring benefit to those I am serving."

Currently, Husam has been accepted at George Mason University in Virginia to earn a Masters degree in Software Engineering, which he will begin in the upcoming spring 2013 term. With his excellent attitude and commitment to learning, Husam will certainly gain greatly from this opportunity.Mr. Husam Hilal

But, computers and mathematics is not all there is to Husam. While at Bethlehem University he helped to establish the Wajd Musical Group. He has been singing since he was 4 years old; if you ask anyone at Bethlehem University about Husam, the first thing the will tell you is how beautiful his singing voice is and how moving it is to hear him singing in Arabic! Husam participated in performances on campus in 2010 and 2011, as well as singing at local festivals in Palestine – a great source of pleasure and satisfaction for Husam.

Both highly intelligent and musically talented, Husam is a cut above, but would never say so. Humble and insightful, he is a joy to interact with and a pleasure to know. Keep watch for Husam Hilal… No doubt we will hear about his many great achievements as the years pass.


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine