The term “Technion Family” is used loosely to describe all of the researchers, students and Technion workers, but for the Hiar family from Peki’in, in Northern Israel, it’s a reality: four out of five children in the Druze family are studying at the Technion this year, as well as the fiancés of the two oldest siblings.
The oldest brother, 30-year-old Majed, is a fourth year student in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. After completing his army service, he decided he wanted to start university. “I chose to study at the Technion because of its good reputation and since it was the closest Institute to my home,” he said.
Majed’s younger brother, 25-year-old Alaa, followed in his footsteps and came to study at the Technion. He began his studies following his army service in the artillery unit. “I came for a consultation,” remembers Alaa, “And the challenge at the Technion excited me.”
Following in the footsteps of the two brothers are their fiancés, Lubna and Lina. Lubna (23) will complete her studies this year at the Department of Education in Science and Technology with a degree in biology and environmental studies, and Lina (20) is a second year student in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management, majoring in production and service systems.
“Ever since high school I’ve wanted to study biology,” relates Lubna. “It’s a field that really interests me and I love it.” Meanwhile, Lina says, “I’m very happy to be studying at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management, because the atmosphere is great and the studies are at a very high level and very interesting.”
Last year, Majda (20) joined the group, following in her older brothers’ footsteps. After completing the pre-university “mechina” studies at the Technion, she joined a teaching degree program at the Department of Education in Science and Technology, in electricity and electronics. “I want to be a college teacher of electricity and electronics,” she said.
At the beginning of this year, her younger sister Manar (18) started her studies at the Technion – at the Faculty of Biology. She wants to be a doctor and hopes to be accepted to the prestigious Faculty of Medicine. She hopes to earn high grades during her first year in biology.
Jamal, their father, is very proud of his children. He was wounded during his military service and circumstances in his life forced him to give up on his dream for higher education. Nonetheless, he and his wife Hedaya instilled in their children the academic dream, and encouraged everyone to fulfill their potential. “It’s not easy to financially support four students at the same time,” says Jamal. “But they are good students, they receive scholarships and they work.”
The fifth brother in the family, Baha (27) had not yet started his academic studies. He is financially supporting his siblings and next year he is planning to start studying if it will be financially feasible.
Four siblings at the Technion is wonderful – on this they all agree. Each one assists the other in the courses they are best at. Sometimes they have meals together, and try to visit home together. When they all have free time, they spend it together, and during stressful exam periods, when one of them goes home to the village, they return with food and other supplies for everyone (who stayed on campus).
At the end of the year, Majed and Lubna will graduate from the Technion and return home to the village. They plan to get married and find jobs – Lubna wants to teach at a school in Peki’in and Majed will look for a position as a mechanical engineer. “We’ll miss them,” said Alaa, “But I guess we shall all go back to the village in the future, and perhaps even one day found a company together. Together we have the necessary professions needed to start a business, but first it’s very important that we all gain experience in our fields of expertise.”