Malek Tamimi: Doing the Math
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
SANTA CLARA — Like most college students, Malek Tamimi lacked the credentials or experience to land anything other than a run-of-the-mill job. Fortunately, thanks to a family connection, he was given an opportunity to improve his occupational status. “I was working in a liquor store when my cousin, who owned a garage door business, offered to train me so I could work for him,” he recounts. “I was hesitant at first, but as I started to get acquainted with the trade, I found that I really enjoyed it. In particular, I liked being able to drive all over the Bay Area and interact with different people, which was a refreshing change after being stuck behind a counter all day.”
In addition to being a technician for Ace’s Garage Door Repair & Installation, Malek is working toward a college degree in mathematics, with a long-term goal of becoming a teacher. Fittingly, when asked his favorite part of his job, he says it’s the opportunity to educate his customers about their garage door systems. “I’ve found that a more educated customer tends to be a more satisfied customer, which is why I make an effort to explain things in great detail. That way, our customers are able to make more informed choices and know what they’re paying for, which makes them feel confident about their transactions.”
Originally from Palestine, Malek moved to the United States at the age of 18 to attend school, and today resides in San Leandro. Having experienced life on both coasts, he expresses his appreciation for the Bay Area’s amiable atmosphere. “When I first came to the U.S., I lived in California for two years before moving to New Jersey, which I didn’t like at all. The weather was terrible and people tended to have a more aggressive temperament. When I moved back to the Bay Area, it felt like I was returning home.”
Outside of work, Malek says the bulk of his time goes to studying and doing homework, but he also enjoys hobbies like music and sports. “I’ve always liked listening to music, and I recently started making my own recordings just for fun. I also like playing soccer and hanging out with friends.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Malek says he would fully devote himself to his academic aspirations. “I would continue on the path I’m currently pursuing, which is to get my master’s degree in mathematics, start teaching and eventually get my PhD. It’s a long road to get to where I want to be, but it’s something I’m passionate about, so I’m committed to reaching my goals.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. It’s a book about philosophy, life, money, people, good and evil…basically, it’s about everything.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: Neither. I’d rather stay in the present and plan for the future than go there directly. After all, if I went there, it wouldn’t be the future anymore.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Palestine, just because it’s my home.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
Q: Who’s your favorite musician?
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A: Abdel Halim Hafez—he’s one of the most popular Arabic musicians of all time.