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UM alumni succeeds in Kuwait

Luay Ahmed Al Saleh graduated in 1993 from the UM School of Architecture and is now making a name for himself in Kuwait by running an architectural firm.
After attending Onondaga Community College where he received his two-year degree, Al Saleh applied and was accepted to the University of Miami School of Architecture.
Al Saleh saw the UM School of Architecture for the first time when he came to Miami to visit a friend.
“I fell in love with the environment and the weather,” Al Saleh said.
“I think the School of Architecture is a great school with great professors. I learned a lot from them,” Al Saleh said. “The people at the University of Miami are great and they believe in what they do.”
Al Saleh is now a successful architect managing his own firm in Kuwait.
One of his accomplishments is a housing project he nicknamed after himself-a Luay Designed Homes.
“I was impressed by Luay’s enthusiasm and his blend of creativity, simplicity, and practicality in designing these unique homes,” said Dr. M.U. Shaikh, Al Saleh’s Foreign Student Advisor when he first came to the United States.
The housing project was completed three months ago and began when a developer he was working with gave him full authority to do what he wanted, Al Saleh said.
He said he wanted to design it similar to a village that is enclosed by a wall, and the homes in the center.
He combined Kuwait’s traditional architectural styles with today’s modern designs to build the homes, Al Saleh said.
“The homes do not stand out from the background, but blend in. There are no sharp corners and each has one very tall room called a tower. Each home has it’s own character,” said Dr. M.U. Shaikh, Al Saleh’s Foreign Student Advisor when he first came to the U.S.
People had mixed opinions about the design, Al Saleh said.
“Some people didn’t understand the concept,” Al Saleh said. “Modern Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people have been propelled into the 21st century that they’ve lost their connection to their own history.”
“The project sits very close to the old city, so it brings about old memories to people that see it,” Al Saleh said.
After graduating in 1993, Al Saleh moved back to Kuwait and worked for an architectural firm for seven years before he opened up his own.
He first arrived in the United States to attend school in Syracuse, New York in 1985.
Dr. Shaikh has kept in contact with him and talks to him often.
“I don’t ever remember seeing him without a smile on his face, even when he had a problem,” Shaikh said.
“He is a very friendly person and a ladies’ man,” he said.
Shaikh remembers ladies going up to him and asking that he introduce them to Luay and give them his phone number.
As a student, Al Saleh made academics his number one priority, Shaikh said.
“This guy is going places,” Shaikh recalled one of Al Saleh’s professors at Onondaga Community College, James Ruddoock, saying to him.

February 12, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.