“I see Sweden as a country where people have equal opportunities´”

Published 20 June 2017 in:

Meet the Global Swedes: Mohammed Ghaith Altarabichi, Syria, student at Kristianstad University Sweden.

What is your image of Sweden?

I associate Sweden with innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, which are also the drivers that motivate me. Where I come from, in the Middle East, things are very unequal – this is very deeply rooted in society and permeates the lives of people living there. I see Sweden as a country where people have equal opportunities. If you have grown up with this, you probably don’t think about it very much, but it’s the most important thing if you want to have a good life.

Sweden’s Minister of EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Global Swede Mohammed Ghaith Altarabichi from Syria. Photo: Regeringskansliet / Catarina Axelsson

Why did you move to Sweden?

I did a bit of research into where the happiest people in the world live, and the Nordic region came out on top, so I chose one of the Nordic countries. I applied three times before I got in. As soon as I got the grant I felt that this was the right decision, and in hindsight I realise this was the best and most important decision of my life. After just a week I felt like I wanted to stay here, and I bought a house near the university with all of my savings.

What do you have to say about your experiences in Sweden?

I have experienced so much. I have learnt so much and grown as a person.

What are you studying?

I have studied a Master in Computer System specialization in Embedded Systems. This division of Computer Science provides plenty of applications based on devices equipped with processing units and are not a computer, such as a smart watch, taps or even smart control units in cars. My thesis is an industrial research sponsored by Combitech (Saab Group).

Have you been involved in any projects?

Yes, several. For example, as a part of a university project, I have developed smart solutions in the home for people with disabilities. These solutions are controlled by simple body movements.

Why do you think you were nominated for Global Swede?

My results are very good and I have contributed to good cooperation within the group.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan is to try and stay in Sweden and apply to another university. I have just received an invitation to an interview at Chalmers, so I am very excited. Finally, I would like to thank my professors for all the opportunities they have been giving me; Åke Arvidsson, Kamilla Klonowska, Dawit Mengistu, Eric Chen, Ibaa Queichek, my personal menthor  Paul Olsson,  the Swedish Institute and last but not the least, my mother Nihad Tarabishi.


The Global Swede Award:

  • For the seventh year in a row, the Global Swede award ceremony has been held. During the ceremony at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 10 May, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Director-General of the Swedish Institute Annika Rembe congratulated some twenty international students who have attended Swedish higher education institutions. These students have distinguished themselves in areas related to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The initiative is part of the long-term efforts of the Swedish Government and the Swedish Institute to build relations with international students in Sweden. These efforts help to build bridges of multicultural and global networks that, in the long term, have a positive impact on Swedish trade and the efforts to find new solutions for the future.

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