I have finally accomplished my academic goal. I successfully defended my dissertation and it went fairly well. I will probably have to make some minor revisions in my actual paper but other than that, I was really happy with how things went.

I can't believe that I have been in university for 10 years, but it is paying off and will pay off forever. I have learned quite a bit from being at Purdue and I will surely miss it since I have accepted a position with Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Yes, I will be an Assistant Professor there and I am quite excited about the opportunity.

If there is anything I have learned from this experience: Anything is possible. Perseverance is the key instrument that one should use in their lives in order to accomplish their dreams. I wanted to get my PhD before I turned 28 and I was able to accomplish that! (I’m 27 now). Better yet, I am really happy to be the first PhD graduate from the Cyber Forensics program at Purdue - a world renowned program and institution. Yes ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not, the first PhD graduate from the Cyber Forensics program at Purdue is Arabic! I am quite proud of that accomplishment to be honest, and I hope that I will accomplish more in the near future.

My goal for the next few years is to pass on some of the knowledge I have learned to my future students. I will also be working closely with Law Enforcement agencies in order to play an integral part in the practical world of cyber crime as well. I need to build my practical knowledge in the area of digital forensics as well as my academic knowledge. Research is one of my top priorities, so keep a look out on my publication page and you will find some interesting papers coming out.

I want to thank everyone that has encouraged me to persevere and pursue my dream especially my advising committee, family, friends and my beautiful wife. Thank you all for being so patient with me and not giving up on me staying in school forever.

The funny thing is that I will be going back to school, but this time, to truly educate (and learn! – learning never stops). I also foresee myself taking many courses during my career at different institutions, because my thirst of knowledge has not been quenched yet! Frankly, I don't know if it ever will be.

On a final note, if any parents are reading this, I urge you to stop thinking that your children should go to university in order to get a good job after they graduate. Students should pursue education in order to better themselves and the future of this world. They should go to university to find themselves, and to seek knowledge. Over the past 10 years I have seen a drastic change in the mindset of educational specialists and parents, putting their pure emphasis on graduates finding jobs. Universities were not created for employment; they were created for people to find their true selves, to meet others from different environments and backgrounds, learn from them, and to seek knowledge.

I leave you with a quote by Dr. Baggili: Knowledge is my key to the happiness treasure chest.

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