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Mohammad Qayoumi named president of San José State U.

San Jose Mercury News
March 23, 2011
California State University has named Mohammad Qayoumi, president of CSU-East Bay to serve as the new president of San José State University.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected and to accept the challenge of leading San José State University in the years ahead," said Qayoumi, in a prepared statement released Wednesday morning. "The tremendous opportunities and boundless possibilities of SJSU will only be limited by our imagination.

"I look forward to working with the talented students to ensure they have a rich and rewarding college experience and to prepare them for future success," he said.

An electrical engineer and financial expert, Qayoumi grew up in a rural suburb of Kabul, Afghanistan, the eldest son of a carpenter. His father had only a grade school education; his mother never learned to read or write. But his neighborhood, which prospered as foreigners and diplomatic families moved in, offered him exposure to many different cultures.

He earned a degree in electrical engineering from American University of Beirut, in Lebanon, where he said he experienced first hand the power of higher education to transform a person's fate. It was there he met his future wife, Najia Karim, a fellow Afghan student. Civil war erupted during their graduation year, and they listened to the radio each morning to learn which roads were free of sniper attacks.
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