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Author: mostafa815

Introduction to the 40 Mistakes – مقدمة إلى الأخطاء الأربعين

Introduction to the 40 Mistakes – مقدمة إلى الأخطاء الأربعين

Dear reader, I hope you are here because you are into entrepreneurship / business readings. I am not promising that this series will change your life, but I humbly hope that it can shed some lights on major mistakes I have personally done during the most exciting journey in my life and it could help one or two entrepreneurs out there avoid these mistakes and reach success faster. My plan is to share a brief of 40 mistakes in 40 different posts.

Starting a business is not easy, it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s always challenging. However, starting a business in Saudi has its own uniqueness. Some mistakes I will be sharing here are common and some are location-specific. Ah, one more thing, these articles won’t be academic nor too professional .. you have been warned.

Without further ado, click on the link for the first article of my deepest secrets, not really:

عزيزي القاريء الجميل، أتمنى أن تكون ممن له اهتمام بريادة الأعمال حتى لا يصيبك الملل أثناء مرورك على هذه السلسلة الجديدة التي أود من خلالها مشاركة بعضا من الدروس التي تعلمتها والأخطاء التي قمت بارتكابها أثناء أكثر رحلاتي العملية إثراءا ومتعة

بالتأكيد، لا أدعي هنا أن ما سأكتبه سيكون من العيار الثقيل أو أنه سيرشحني لجائزة رواد الأعمال الخارقين، ولكن من باب مشاركة التجارب والعمل على نقل المعرفة ولو كانت بسيطة

بشكل عام، أن تكون رائد أعمال فهذا تحد كبير بحد ذاته، وأن تبني شيئا ذا قيمة فعلية من الصفر فهو الإختبار الأصعب، ولكن ما إن تجرأت على هذه الخطوة فأرجو منك الحذر من الوقوع في هذه الأخطاء لكي تصل بإذن الله إلى النجاح بشكل أكثر سلاسة.

أتمنى أن تروق لك هذه السلسلة، ولكي لا أطيل فهذا أول الأخطاء



When you feel so stupid that it makes you pause and stand still for few minutes.
When you realize how much of a fool you were in certain situations that you wish you never existed
When you face people who act or pretend to be nice just to win your trust, yet they plan to crush it with their actions.
It’s about caring, it’s about making sure you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it’s about paying attention to the emotional well-being of the other person.

Maybe this is a dreamy-world, and maybe it will never happen in real life, or at least not to most people. Why can’t people just see this simple equation of giving and taking.

Life could be hell or heaven depending on who’s sharing it with you. Unfortunately, sometimes you choose the wrong company and thus you get stuck in living in hell.

The real dilemma of a nice person is whether to leave it all behind, or keep trying? and guess what, most nice people just keep trying on the expense of their own happiness.

If you know someone who is too nice and being abused in any form, give them a hand and support them to get out instead of losing their precious time with unworthy people.

I Write Today

I Write Today

I write today,

With memories of yesterday

good mixed with bad, awesome mixed with sad

But I lived through, praising the red and the blue

Took the good in, and let the bad away,

I write today.


With my eyes on the green, that has some grey

but it’s okay,

for to enjoy the green,

grey should be seen,

For life to be built, a discomfort must be felt

For a medicine to be forced, a pain must be endorsed,

I write today

Willing to wash it all away,

focusing on better not worse,

targeting smiles & positive force

opening arms for those who are close

knocking on doors not being afraid,

jumping to unknown not too scared

never responding with “no way”

I write today,

Today I write, feeling the glimpses of white

Today I write, using “will” not “might”

staring at goals with clear sight

Today, I do write,

because I can and I will

because nothing discouraging me still,

I write even I’m not a writer

I will battle the bad, ill defeat the down and sad,

regardless of being called a fighter,

I write today with heart and soul,

with hard ink drawing a goal

with heads up standing tall,

with words coming out of control,

were feelings accumulated day after day,

hello world, I write today.

I write today, not tomorrow not yesterday,

I write today, as no guarantees till when we stay.




Stop the freaking blame!!

Stop the freaking blame!!

Dear Mr. Blamer

Haven’t you had enough already? I mean come on, why do you keep on blaming everything that’s around you? (yes even the small little ant)

Here’s my problem with a person who blames a lot: You are annoying :@

We all do stupid things, and people should point out problems for each other because that’s the way we learn, but having too much blame in the air is not healthy for anyone.

Has any of this happened to you?

Phone call >> “Hi man, why haven’t you called? why haven’t we seen you for a while? Why didn’t you do this, why didn’t you do that .. why why why” … oh I forgot to mention, I am the one who called.

A meeting with a friend >> “Dude, it’s been so long, why did you ditch us? what happened to our friendship? you forgot us”… is there anyway you can reply to that?

A normal day at work >> “I told you bro, you should have done this, you didn’t listen, why didn’t you listen? you remember also that time when you didn’t listen to what I said, and that other time, and the previous time and the stone age time ” … that’s how you kill productivity.

Again, pointing out mistakes and dealing with them is an essential thing, and no one should be bothered with that. The problem is when blaming becomes a habit and when people try to hunt each other’s mistakes.

So please, stop the useless meaningless destructive blame, and focus on the constructive helpful critiques.

Oh, and if this happened to you, you get a bonus

“Why haven’t you communicated with me on facebook?!!” .. “umm, because I see you everyday :S ”

KAUST… The Journey. Part 2 (Aramco Internship)

KAUST… The Journey. Part 2 (Aramco Internship)

So I graduated but KAUST is still not there…. What to do? Well KAUST offered us several exciting options like studying abroad for a year, working for some time as interns, or taking courses. I chose to get some real world technical experience by working as an intern. The big question to me was WHERE?

Based on some reasons, the most appropriate option was Saudi Aramco. I got a 6-month internship. At first, I thought it will be a boring internship because I will do nothing other than data entry or easy tasks like most interns do.

BUT, it turned out to be one of the most useful technical experiences I have ever gained. I worked in the department called EXPEC ARC which focuses heavily on research and development. My task (which I won’t bore you with its details) was basically about databases and programming using C++, and QT.

Another major thing that made this internship special was the team I worked with. It was a group of highly qualified experts who helped me a lot and were nothing but nice and friendly. When I finished, they made a small goodbye party for me with some gifts .. you don’t get that kind of team everyday you?

Lastly, it was very nice to work with the theater group in Aramco as the guy responsible for sounds in the play. We had the customized version of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and it turned out to be a great play.

It is not easy to pack everything happened in 6 months in one small post, but I here are the quick highlights of my time at ARAMCO

–          Friendly and experienced people to work with

–          Technically challenging environment (at least the one I had, no idea about other departments)

–          Good entertainment facilities

–          Great housing (I have to admit that I was spoiled by staying at ARAMCO hotel)

–          The great hot boiling humid weather   -_-

–          The good theater experience

–          And of course, most importantly.. I lost weight 😀

Overall, I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by KAUST and Saudi Aramco.

p.s: if you have no idea what the heck is going on here, or why I am writing this post .. please refer to this post .. it might explain something

KAUST… The Journey. Part 1

KAUST… The Journey. Part 1

People might be asking: what is KAUST? Why are you writing about your “journey”? Isn’t it just another student having master’s degree from a university?

Well first, KAUST is King Abduallah University of Science and Technology. If you want to know all the details about this school, just check the website

Now, my journey might seem like a normal one for an outsider. Nevertheless, it’s anything but normal to me.

When I was an undergraduate student at King Fahd University, I made up my mind that I will never go for masters. The only thing in my head was getting a job. Out of nowhere, I received an email from our department’s chair inviting me to check out the new yet-to-be-built university, KAUST.  I went there with absolutely no intention in enrolling in this school or any other school. It’s funny how little things can change your mind 180 degrees. I read the vision, and the dream of KAUST which planted in me the idea of joining this new entity.

I thought not once, but twice before reading the contract and after reading it, the seed in my mind grew to be a more welcomed option. Since you can never get everyone to support or discourage anything in your life, I knew that I have to make the final call. And guess what? … The guy who hated everything about grad schools, is joining KAUST.

Skeptical you say? Yes I was definitely skeptical. Maybe it’s a curse, if you like, that I am adventurous and I would love to try new things in life. I thought, hmmm, it can not get bigger than a new world-class university. And there it was, my first interaction with KAUST. I can proudly say, I am among the very first group of students who joined KAUST.

Phew, looking back in time I can only say .. man, it was a heck of a ride. We had great, in fact amazing group of people in our corner to help us, support us, and solve our problems and issues since day one. One of these people is Mrs. Iffat Saadeh who helped me in literally everything all the way.

Where do I start? My amazing and rich time at ARAMCO? My wonderful time in UK? The spectacular year and half at KAUST itself?  Or the outstanding summer time in US?

I am going to make an individual post for each one of those, and to me, the memories and moments I had during the last 2 years are truly priceless. Stay tuned!!

Around the US in Two Months – Part 2

Around the US in Two Months – Part 2

Have you been to the States? I know I have

First, before talking about the different states I visited, I will mention here some signs telling you that you are in the States.

  • If Soft drinks are refillable (bottomless as said in UK) EVERYWHERE .. you know you are in the States.
  • If the food serving is HUGE … you know you are in the States.
  • If you get so confused because it’s the world cup and you call it “football” but no one calls it that .. you are in the States.
  • Where majority of the people are nice and friendly .. That’s in the States
  • When you need to calculate the actual cost of your food + standard tips everywhere, you are in the States
  • When you find everything in one country, nature, fun, craziness, etc.. it’s USA.
  • When you hear country music, people saying Howdy, and eat Steak all the time… you are in the States.. ooh wait no, you are in TEXAS
  • If there are more restaurants than the number of people, you are in the states. lol (not to that extent)

Anyways, these are enough; you are free to add more below.

Now, a brief description about each place I visited

Texas: My main stay was in college station. I was able to visit Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

I already talked about college station in the previous post. Austin is my favorite as there is a lot of good places to visit and enjoy. Houston is a big city and very crowded. San Antonio has the amazing six flags which we enjoyed and had a lot of fun. I recommend Texas but NOT during the summer.

Boston & NYC: My visit to Boston was short (just few hours) but I had the chance to meet some of my great friends and also to walk by the Charles River. The view was amazing. I took then the bus from Boston to New York. Maybe, just maybe I didn’t like NYC because of the weather at that time. However, it was nice to visit the famous attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building, Columbia University, Rockefeller Center, and of course the breath-taking times square. I also have to admit that my mind can never forget the taste of the fresh bagels I had in NYC. I moderately recommend NYC and Boston.

Colorado: What can I say? Just wonderful. This is basically the best experience for me in the United States. We had an amazing time rafting and then driving up the rocky mountain. As they say there, I MADE IT TO THE TOP. If you are going to the US during the summer, the place you should not miss is Colorado. I highly recommend Colorado during the summer.

Miami: Great beaches, nice food, cool people, and a rich Latin culture. Highly recommended.

Las Vegas: If you are expecting a big city because of the movies you watched, you are mistaken. Las Vegas is basically just one street, the Strip. But wait, that doesn’t mean that Las Vegas is boring. You can enjoy and have a lot of fun shopping, gaming, attending shows, and so on. I recommend Vegas but for two days maximum.

California: As they say “save the best for the last”. I said above that Colorado is the best, well when it comes to San Francisco it is a tie. You can walk for hours in San Francisco and you never feel like stopping. We drove all the way down to LA along highway 101 and I’m out of words to express how great it was. We stopped at many spots and hoped the time would freeze so we can enjoy the scenes forever. Some of the beaches I enjoyed were Venice, Santa Cruz, and Laguna. I didn’t like Laguna at all, but I loved Venice so much.

So, there you go, a brief (maybe long) summary of my travels around the US. I met great people, went to nice places, and had an incredible time. Thanks to my travel buddies Tamim Mourad and Anas Qasmi.

Around the US in Two Months – Part 1

Around the US in Two Months – Part 1

Alright, so I just made it back from the US. How was it? It was great.

As part of my degree, I was to do a summer internship during the past summer. Among options around the world, I got accepted in Texas A&M university in College Station, Texas. Now that might not be the best location to spend your summer given the hot weather there, but it was a good university to do a useful research.

After getting done with all troubles related to getting my visa, I took a flight from Jeddah to Frankfurt, and then to Houston. It was a long flight, but expected. I stayed 4 hours in Houston airport .. you know, to get my name “cleared” and to be approved to get in the United States (even I went through a lot to get the visa). I took another flight to get to the city where I am about to spend 2 months, College Station.

At first sight, it was depressing, very hot, few people on the street, few shops, flat, and quite, but then I got used to that. People are very nice and friendly though which made my stay a bit enjoyable. Now, I was thinking that College Station is just like any other modern city where you don’t need a car to get around, and by God I was mistaken. I arrived on Friday, had a quick meeting with my adviser and then I went out trying to find an adapter for my phone charger. I had to walk for two hours under the sun to get that. Why? Because I had no phone, no taxis (unless you call), and no buses (no buses after 6 or in the weekends). The next day, I woke up early to get the bus to the super market and it was not a pleasant experience at all. Even with the buses you have to walk a lot to get from one area to another, hot, sunny, and too many small plastic bags.

Anyways, I started working on a computer science research project with a nice team that helped me a lot and I learned so much from them. I met also some nice people in the department, dorm, and the rec center. I even participated in a soccer league that we didnt win 🙁 , but it was so much fun.

That’s about it as far as College Station is concerned. Did I do some traveling? Do I have more stories from other cities and states? Indeed I do. I will follow this post up with another one for all the travels I made. Thanks for reading.

Days in UK ep.3 Final

Days in UK ep.3 Final

First day of school was very exciting. Regardless of me getting lost in the city and not knowing where I should go, I was amazed by the style of the academic buildings. Some of them are very traditional old buildings and some of them are new and modern. In both cases, they were all clean, well furnitured, and taken care of. We had a nice day of orientation where we got introduced to the different logistics and regulations. During that day, I met a lot of international students, because we all share the same case, which is studying abroad for one or two semesters.

University of Manchester
University of Manchester

At a later time of that day, the international society made a nice dinner/party for all exchange students, and it was a blast. I met people from all over the world, and the overall atmosphere was very friendly.

The Main Building
The Main Building

I will not bore you with the difficulties I faced during the first week, because when you have 80,000 students to register in the same time, it’s not a very pleasant experience. I decided the courses and met with the advisor to approve them. I had 4 courses; advanced algorithms, concurrency engineering, artificial intelligence programming, and employment and organization. I enjoyed these classes, but the tricky thing was there was no course work. The 100% of your grade depends on the two-hour exam at the end of the semester. This could be good and bad, good because you get to spend a lot of time having fun, and bad because if you don’t prepare well you lose everything.

Manchester is a rich city of everything. You find history, industry, entertainment, sports, trips, restaurants, diversity, and a lot of other things. In addition to Manchester I had the chance to travel and visit most of the important cities in UK. Starting with Oxford and its amazing university, then London with its very famous museums and clock, and the beautiful nature in the highlands and Wales, then Scotland with its intense history and stories, and many other cities and destinations I was lucky enough to visit. What is a good trip without good friends? I was also lucky to have great friends during these trips and we had so much fun.

Big Ben
Big Ben

After so much traveling, the time came for the final exams. That means if you were not preparing during the whole semester, you should lock your door a month earlier and study and that’s what I did. One month was full of books, papers, and notes and Al hamduallah I managed to do well in my exams. I had also few days after the exam to enjoy which I used to travel around a bit again. It was very sad to say goodbye to everyone I knew there, because I made a lot of good friends that I will always miss. But hey, there always has to be a goodbye sometime. To sum it up, before I go to UK I had a shock related to my placement, and I was not very happy with UK placement, but to tell the truth, I enjoyed a lot and learned a lot. My UK experience was a very enriching and enlightening one and I thank God first then everyone else who worked hard to give me this opportunity including (not only) my scholarship advisors Iffat Saadeh and Victoria Hayes.

Note: If anyone is interested in visiting UK and has any questions about where to go or what to do, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I will be more than happy to assist with what I can. Cheers Mates