Salwa Al-Omani, a 70-year-old woman, has become the oldest female graduate to receive a bachelor's degree in arts from Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Dammam. Her remarkable achievement was recognized at the university's 44th graduation ceremony, attended by Princess Abeer bint Faisal bin Turki, where she ranked first in her class and received an excellence award. Al-Omani's story is one of determination and perseverance, proving that age is not a barrier to pursuing dreams.
After a 50-year hiatus, Al-Omani decided to return to her education, defying societal expectations and challenges. She expressed her indescribable emotions upon realizing her long-awaited dream, receiving an outpouring of support and well-wishes.
Al-Omani's educational journey had faced a significant interruption. At the age of 18, in 1971, she left high school when her family relocated to Basra, Iraq. She was accepted into the University of Basra to study chemistry but had to abandon her studies due to family reasons. Subsequently, her family resided to Kuwait before relocating to Saudi Arabia. Throughout the years, Al-Omani's focus remained on her family, raising two sons and three daughters who went on to become doctors and engineers. She has lived in Dammam since the 1980s.
Al-Omani faced hurdles when she wanted to continue her education, including the lack of her high school diploma. Undeterred, she spoke to her former school's director, who informed her she needed to retake all the classes. Al-Omani remained determined, highlighting her knowledge from her generation's scientific exposure.
Despite the embarrassment of being surrounded by girls the age of her grandchildren during the exams, Al-Omani remained resolute, displaying perseverance and dedication. She excelled in her studies, eventually earning her high school diploma.
Al-Omani obtained impressive scores of 82 on the GAT and 83 on the SAAT. In 2019, she enrolled in the sociology department of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, despite having a science diploma. Her long-awaited dream had finally come true.
Al-Omani highlights the power of determination and self-belief, asserting that with unwavering resolve, nothing is impossible. She inspires others not to lose hope and emphasizes that it's never too late to chase dreams. She firmly believes that confidence and faith in one's abilities are crucial for success, emphasizing the importance of determination in reaching life goals.