Mohammed Aljifri was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and spent time in Morocco during his childhood. His siblings moved to the United States to pursue their dreams, and after his high school graduation, Mohammed followed.
Upon arriving in the U.S., Mohammed settled in Annandale, Virginia, and enrolled in Northern Virginia Community College. He earned a certification in English for Science, Math, and Technology, while at the same time completing an English as a Second Language course in Washington, D.C.
Mohammed went on to enroll in Jacksonville University to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot by majoring in Aviation Management and Flight Operations. He was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi in November 2019, was a Davis College of Business Top 40 Honorable Mention in 2018, and was featured in the Davis College of Business Top 25 for the 2019-2020 academic year. He has served as a volunteer with St. Johns Riverkeeper, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring a clean and healthy river for current and future generations, and the Jacksonville Public Library.
Let’s get to know Mohammed!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
I accepted the invitation to join the Society because it’s widely known that Phi Kappa Phi recognizes excellence and the standards for election are very high. Phi Kappa Phi means solidity, opportunity, and uniqueness. Becoming a member of the Society was one of my most ambitious achievements. The Society provides a great community and connects you with other inspiring, dedicated and hard-working individuals.
- What is your favorite childhood memory?
When I was nine years old, my father took me inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777 airplane for the first time. That visit sparked my fascination with planes and from then on I was always the first child to point to the sky and shout, “There’s a plane!” when I heard the familiar sound of a plane passing overhead.
- What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is paella, especially paella de marisco (seafood). I love the combination of seafood, vegetables, and rice, and my all-time favorite paella is my mom’s. The dish reminds me of my visit to Spain and the beautiful memories of walking with my family on the streets of Las Ramblas while looking at the great monuments surrounding it.
- What is your favorite sport?
I enjoy watching horse races and show performances. I do have some horse riding experience, however, more as a hobby. I also love billiards and started playing when I was eight years old. I eventually joined the Saudi team and played in the 2012 World 9-Ball Championship in Qatar and the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in South Korea.
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere, I would take a trip to Italy. The small country has many beautiful cities such as Venice, Florence and Rome that I would enjoy touring, and I would prefer to visit in the spring time.
- What cartoon character would you like to switch lives with?
If I could switch lives with a cartoon character, I would choose my all-time favorite Tiger Mask W. He is a Japanese pro-wrestler whose goal is to defeat Yellow Devil. He is an admirable character due to his strength and defending everyone in danger.
- What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It’s the story of a poor woodcutter who is gathering wood in the forest one day and sees a group of thieves visiting their treasure in a cave. At the end of the story, the woodcutter is the only person who knows about the treasure and where it’s hidden, making him rich.
- What is the one thing you can’t live without?
I couldn’t live without humanity. I believe it’s one of the most important ethical principles and that it means love, compassion towards each other, and fairness consistent across all cultures.
- What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?
The most important lesson I learned in the last year is to always keep pushing forward. Do not let any obstacle make you take a U-turn. Obstacles are the key to being successful.
- If you would witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
I would have loved to be able to watch the first man step on the moon!
To learn more about Mohammed and connect with him, visit his member profile within the Phi Kappa Phi online community here.
Would you like to be featured, or is there someone you would like to see in the spotlight? If so, email Jamie Chapman, membership director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include basic information for the nomination.