Saudi Family Finds Community and Academic Success at Widener

By Benjamin Beggs ‘20 Communication Studies
Father and son from Saudi Arabia with lion statue
Sulaiman Alsharari and his son, Wafi, are both attending Widener.

When Sulaiman Alsharari discovered Widener through the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, he saw an opportunity that he could share with his entire family.

Fast forward six months, and Sulaiman and two of his children are now living in the United States and are proud to call themselves Widener students.

Sulaiman is working toward a doctor of juridical science, corporate and business law at Delaware Law School, while two of his children, Wafi and Farah Alsharari, pursue their undergraduate degrees in computer science and criminal justice respectively on Widener’s Main Campus in Chester.

“I chose Widener because it was one of the best schools in the area, and it offered all of the programs that my family wanted,” Sulaiman explained.

As natives of Saudi Arabia, the Alsharari family has found a sense of home in the diverse and welcoming culture of Widener. While the new environment has presented the family with some significant challenges, they meet those challenges with great excitement and ambition.

The mother and other six children now live in Saudi Arabia and one child is a senior at Indiana State University while Sulaiman, Wafi, and Farah are currently living in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania. While this geographical distance presents additional challenges for the family, Sulaiman has expressed an interest in bringing more of his children to the United States to study.
“As the father of a big family, approaching a new culture as an international student wasn’t easy for me, but studying through Widener has provided me with useful career preparation, English speaking practice, and a more open-minded perspective,” said Sulaiman.

Despite being immersed in a new cultural environment, the Alsharari family has found academic success due to their hard work ethic and the helpful staff on both campuses. All three students are proud to hold current Dean’s List standing, and have every intention of maintaining it in the future. In addition to their academic success, the Alsharari family enjoys partaking in campus engagements together.

“I love to attend events with my family, and even though each of our schedules are different, we always try our best to do find things to do together” Farah explained.

The Alsharari family is one that wants to help the world by using the skills and education that they receive at Widener. Sulaiman’s goal is to help others either in the United States or in Saudi Arabia to find justice while Farah plans to share her knowledge back home in Saudi Arabia as a university professor. Wafi intends to pursue a master’s degree after graduating.

Sulaiman added he is grateful to Widener University and the government in Saudi Arabia for supporting him and his family. “I want to thank all the professors and staff at Widener University because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goals.”

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