By Zara Nasir
Favorite Book: “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Favorite Movie: “The Shawshank Redemption”
Describe yourself in three words: Honest, Empathetic, Accepting
Someone you look up to and why: Nelson Mandela, because of his strong leadership at such a difficult time for South Africa and because he knew forgiveness was the way to peace.
When you meet Muneeb Khan, it’s hard to imagine such an energetic and positive person ever facing tremendous adversity. Yet it was only in the fall of 2007, after six years of fighting an uphill immigration battle, that Muneeb was finally able to attend Eastern Michigan University.
Being unable to attend college before 2007, he worked a series of odd jobs, from being a physical therapist assistant to working at Subway.
Muneeb says the long and frustrating experience taught him to smile in the face of adversity. He added, “No matter how big or small someone’s problems are, there is always someone out there who has it worse.”
He points out the positive aspects of the long arduous situations he faced: he gained patience, became disciplined, and sent the money he earned to family back in Pakistan.
After working at various places, Muneeb found his calling at Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a facility dedicated to saving the lives of children with pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Thankfully, it was only shortly after that his immigration status allowed Muneeb to complete his GED, apply to Eastern Michigan University, and pursue his hopes of becoming a pediatrician.
After winning the immigration battle and being accepted to EMU, Muneeb Khan has been involved in a number of diverse activities, from being an actor in EMU’s CloseUp Theatre Troupe to being the Vice President and re-founding father of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He is constantly trying to find other ways to contribute to the EMU community.
It is easy to see his dedication and genuineness in person. “Humanitarianism is my true religion,” he explains.
It is this passion that explains his involvement on campus. Alongside being involved in CloseUp Theatre Troupe and Delta Sigma Phi, Muneeb has also been in the executive leadership of the Muslim Students’ Association and the Indian Student Association, as well as being involved in the Latino Student Association and Student Government.
When he is not participating on campus, Muneeb enjoys spending time with his friends, dancing, singing, going out, watching movies, listening to music, reading, running….(“I can keep going,” he adds jokingly.) He also loves volunteering off campus with Habitat for Humanity, organizations in Detroit, in local hospitals, soup kitchens, and the local children’s autism center.
After graduating from Eastern, he plans to attend medical school to study pediatric medicine. He also wishes to volunteer for existing organizations like Doctors Without Borders, that provide medical care in crisis zones around the world, or start up his own organization where his skills can assist the underserved and his humanitarianism can keep thriving.
When asked about how to approach life and adversity, Muneeb responded “Life is beautiful. Live every second to its fullest. Learn from its challenges, don’t be comfortable with a life of mediocrity. Love, hope, give, enjoy. Live!”