“I have always believed that there is no substitute for the full experience: the food, culture, studies, traditions, arts, languages and environment of other country. Moreover, Jordanian culture is rich, vibrant and worthy of showing off! So being a part of the Said Foundation family has made this come true. Doing my masters abroad and living alone for the first time comes hand in hand with challenges and thriving experiences on so many levels. Every other experience is dwarfed now comparing to this!”
Since completing her bachelors in Pharmacy at the University of Jordan, Ola has worked closely with public and private health sectors in Jordan. She has worked as a pharmacist responsible for providing and dispensing medicines and vaccines (adult and paediatric), and has focused on oncology and haematology medications with the aim of increasing public access to these vital services. She has also volunteered for many not for profit organisations and local community initiatives such as Operation smile, Lady of Peace Elderly House and the Humanitarian Centre.
Whilst working Ola became increasingly aware of the need for change in the health sector, especially in light of the devastating crisis in Syria. It became clear that a global population level intervention was needed to cope with such tragedy. The Middle East region had made some outstanding advancements in medicine and public health, however, considerable public health challenges continued and she was determined to play a part of shaping the sector’s future.
To help her achieve this Ola was selected to receive a scholarship to study for an MSc in Public Health at the University of Southampton. The programme has helped her to widen her vision and expanded her understanding of the health sector. During her studies Ola has focussed on refugees' mental health issues as a result of armed conflicts, and the emerging and re-emerging of infectious diseases and their control after displacement. Ola was also selected to be the Student Representative for the Public Health programme at the University of Southampton.