Born May 1, 1979 in Jerusalem, Ra’id Q. Shomali (IIPES 98) grew up in Beit-Sahour, Palestine. After obtaining elementary and secondary education from Talitha Kumi High School, Beit-Jala, Shomali earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bethlehem University and graduated with highest honors summa cum laude, valedictorian of the 2001 class. Thereafter, Shomali traveled to the U.S. on a scholarship to attend graduate school at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. where he earned a master’s degree in business with double concentrations in management information systems and e-business in December 2003.
Shomali had shown love and passion for reading, writing, scouting and music at a very early age. He plays the piano, recorder and bagpipes and is baritone in various church, university and professional choirs. He participated in national and international scouting conferences and meetings and won many awards and prizes. His participation in the 1998 International Institute for Economic and Political Studies (IIPES) in Athens, Greece, is something he takes great pride in.
Shomali has always had an interest for the creative applications of technology in business and is interested in pursuing a doctorate in this field, studying issues such as projecting a sound ethical framework that could help businesses, especially in developing countries, adopt successfully different technologies into operations taking into consideration ethics and controls to assure correct business practices.
Professionally, Shomali worked as an accountant for the Golden Park Resort in his hometown and also did graphic design projects for the United Nations Development Program in Jerusalem. Recently, he received an appointment letter to the Faculty of Business Administration at Bethlehem University, starting February 2004.
“The mounting importance of cross-cultural understanding, along with new global events and interdependencies, challenge us to achieve the appropriate international exposure preparing to be genuine citizens of the world with empathy for and appreciation of other cultures, gaining deeper understanding of our own within an international dimension.
“The Fund for American Studies provided me with the opportunity to get first hand quality international exposure through IIPES, an event that not only left a great impact on my personality: academically and socially, but also provided me with the tools to analyze and comprehend international political and economic issues sensibly.
“I appreciated the fact that the Fund for American Studies advanced the values of freedom, democracy and a free-market economy and not forced them on participants of the program. Dialogue and discussion were valuable instruments in shaping each participant’s views of issues conversed. I am proud of being part of a network of wonderful people around the world, sharing their relationships and intellectual resources, which proved beneficial throughout our careers and our common goal of a better and more peaceful world for all.”