I was born in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1989 — the same year the civil war ended. I grew up listening to stories of how my parents narrowly escaped the horrors of a sectarian civil war. My parents enrolled us in a secular school, and I didn’t know who among my best friends were Christians or Muslims until I was in middle school. It didn’t really matter to us.
I was born in a small town in the West Bank in Palestine called Tulkarem. However, I grew up in Amman, Jordan. I came to America when I was 17 years old. I spent 7 years in Texas where I got my BS and PhD. I then came to MIT as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and I have been here since then. I met my wife, Jinane, at MIT, and we raised our three kids (Deema, Hilal, and Yazeed) while we were housemasters at MacGregor house. After living in Cambridge for 30 years, I can confidently say that this is our home.
I grew up in Damascus, Syria, and came to the US to do my PhD. My years as a graduate student at MIT were amazing, with many long nights of heated discussions, coding and searching for intractable bugs, and arguing about social and political issues while solving math problem sets. My best friends were also my office mates. We worked, took classes, and traveled together. By the end of my PhD, I was so attached to MIT, it was hard to leave. I took a faculty job and stayed.