Star student shares his secrets to success

In this undated photo, Al-Hassan Al-Fakih is seen on the tennis court. The young tennis player has won multiple championships. (Photo: Handout)
A gifted 21-year-old Jordanian athlete and student recently shared his secrets for success with Jordan News.

Despite his young age, Al-Hassan Al-Fakih is already a Hult Prize record-breaker, tennis champion, TEDx organizer, Youth Foundation president, Youth Government member, and last but not least the only Arab representative in the upcoming Asia World Model United Nations. اضافة اعلان

Fakih’s illustrious achievements began in 2009 when he played tennis for fun like any other child. But encouragement around him made him believe he stood out among his peers. “The turning point was when I unexpectedly won the Junior Tennis Championship,” he said in an interview with Jordan News, which encouraged the “Jordan Tennis Federation to contact us and ask me to join.”

“The feeling of being wanted, of being a hero, of surprising others, and even myself was the best thing ever,” he said. “When people believe in you, this makes you believe in yourself.” Fakih also emphasized that building self-esteem at a young age was the first secret of his journey to success.

The undergraduate said that being rewarded for breaking a record at the international Hult Prize Competition 2020/2021 was neither the beginning nor the end of his success. The Hult Prize is an international competition that rewards start-ups designed by university students. Fakih broke a record by playing the role of event organizer for four national universities pursuing four different positions all at the same time. He said: “I needed to breathe from four lungs to meet the expectations and needs of the unique visions of each university.”

At the same time Fakih was engaging in athletics, he maintained a 93.8 percent GPA, successfully passed Tawjihi (the national secondary school examination) in 2016, and got accepted into the Industrial Engineering program at the University of Jordan (JU).

Joining the IISE (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers) JU Chapter was his first step into the field of leadership and administration. “I was the one to create the public relations department for the chapter,” he said.

Afterward, Fakih became the youngest student at JU to organize the TEDx 2019 conference and lead its organizing team. TEDx conferences bring together local experts and innovators to share their ideas through a combination of live talks and recorded videos.

His continued success encouraged JU to entrust the third-year student to establish the Youth Foundation. Fakih thus became the president of the foundation, which aims to bridge the gap between education and the labor market.

“During my presidency, I not only fulfilled duties and goals set by the university, but I also wanted to accomplish more,” he said. Fakih supported women’s sports by organizing an annual female student championship, aided by the JU Women Football Union.

Fakih’s next project was to increase the popularity of the Hult Prize competition by promoting the event with the Youth Foundation. “(Social media) interactions were impressive. The likes, for example, doubled from four thousand the year before to eight thousand in 2020/2021,” he said proudly. 

Hosting the Youth Day was another achievement. “I invited Jordan’s five most influential people and decision-makers for a dialogue session to talk with the young audience,” he said. These included the former minister of youth Fares Braizat, the president of the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF), the president of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, and the president of Oasis500.

Youth Government was the next station for the college student. Unsurprisingly, he is now “the youngest member of the 2020-2022 formation.” Youth Government, directed by the Ministry of Youth, aims to prepare youth leaders and enables participation in public policy.

According to Fakih, one of the reasons behind his success is his flexibility. “I adapt to all situations and changes, and with that, I always have backup plans to ensure constancy and newness of achievements,” he explained.

“Better late than never” is another principle Fakih follows, explaining nothing is impossible with a little time management.

“Love yourself” is Fakih’s fourth secret he said, adding that once people love themselves, they become capable of achieving miracles. “One also stops caring about others underestimating and undermining one’s abilities,” he said.

The student was also chosen to represent Arab youth at the Asia World Model United Nations in Indonesia in May. “I will be the only Arab among 76 other students,” he added.

Fakih’s ambition hasn’t stopped yet. Successful journeys in sport, education, leadership, and entrepreneurship has led him to dream of politics. “I am that kind of person who always seeks to make the place I am in stand out and triumph. I am also a good negotiator.”