Lina Rahme (BA’ 02, MA ’08) graduated from NDU with a BA in English and MA degrees in Applied Linguistics, a title-holder of Miss NDU 1999, writes, “As an NDU graduate of Applied Linguistics, I was asked in October 2004 to join the NDU family and become an English instructor in the Department of English, Translation & Education, the department I had graduated from and was still part of as a graduate student pursuing my MA in TEFL.
In the meantime, I was practicing one of my favourite hobbies, cycling. I loved road biking and mountain biking, and my passion grew as I became fitter and fitter with the help of my coach and now husband Zaher El Hage. I became the Lebanese Female Champion in mountain biking for the years 2003 to 2005 and in road biking for the years 2005 and 2006. In 2006, I participated in the Asian Mountain Biking Championship in Vietnam and came in 10th place, and in that same year got 2nd place in the individual time trial of the Arab Road Biking Championship in Cairo.
As I am an aerobics instructor and sports trainer, I was offered in February 2008 the job of Blue Team Trainer of Season Three in the reality TV show “The Biggest Winner”, the Arabic adaptation of “The Biggest Loser”. The job was full of emotional as well as physical strains; the candidates did not only consider me a coach, but also a sister, a mother, a daughter and most importantly a friend. As I saw them shrink in front of my eyes day after day and slowly become athletic people, I was not only proud of them but also proud of what I was able to achieve. With my help, these candidates were transformed from morbidly obese people who couldn’t climb a flight of stairs to overweight people whose goal was to keep losing weight to become average people and whose completely sedentary lifestyles were changed into healthy ones which included jogging, swimming, cycling, working out in a gym......... Apparently I did a good job because I was asked to join the show again for Season Four. Being able to maintain the balance between my academic career and my sports one has made me very proud of who I am and of my accomplishments.
Right now, my priority in life is being a good mother to Philip, my 1 year and 9 month old son. Of course, I’m still teaching at NDU and cycling as well.
And to NDU I say, “Thank you for making my university years as a student very rewarding.” And to my students I say, “Overcome the barriers and you can achieve anything.”