In June we called out your help for a student in big financial need. Do you want to know more about him before you start supporting him? Let’s get to know him a little bit better.
He also came to Maastricht with one goal: his Funda. Due to the crisis in his home country he cannot depend on the support of his family anymore. His biggest dream is uncertain; to stay (safe) in Maastricht, complete his education, become a business owner and make his parents proud.
Jean Maroun Bou Malhab just turned 19 years old and was born in Lebanon in a family of four (father-Nicolas, mother-Carol, brother-Marc). On campus everybody knows him by the name Bubbles: “to shorten my name, they started to call me Bubbles since I have such a bubbly personality.”
In September 2020 Bubbles arrived in Maastricht to start the bachelor Hotel Management at the HMSM. “I have a passion for hospitality, for serving others, and creating a unique experience through every interaction. There is something different about serving others and witnessing them enjoy their time because of you. Having sat down with my father, who is a “veteran” in the Hotel Business field, he enlightened me to facts of this university. The HMSM would help me complete my education and achieve my aspirations of becoming a business owner in the future.”
When he started at the HMSM he could dependent on his parents’ savings for life and study in Maastricht. Due to the economic and political crisis in Lebanon his parents find themselves in financial difficulties. “This means I may not be able to continue my studies here. My father never had the chance to finalise his education due to the problems in Lebanon, I want to make my parents proud, and with my Funda create a different life for my family and myself.”
Bubbles treasures his first year at the HMSM. Especially the practical’s in the THCB. “I learned that service is a very hard field to excel in as much as it is demanding both physically and in terms of attitude. I have developed a very fond respect for everyone that takes up service. But campus life is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have made some life long lasting memories and some eternal friends. To be active in the community as one of the hosts of Speak Out HMSM is really valuable to strenghten my network. Having fun while you're learning!”
The situation in his home country brings pain to his heart. “It is sad to see the country that my family members and fellow citizens worked hard on building, falling apart due to political corruption. Every day, people are dying due to weapons, sickness, and poverty; one cannot sleep at ease knowing that his or her family is living in a country like that. My family is surviving. Every day is full of surprises, I am just glad that they are still healthy for the time being. And…I miss my mother.”
Do you also wish for him - just like you - to complete his studies at the Hotel Management School Maastricht? Would you like to help the Foundation HMSM make his dream come true? Help to make his Funda happen and make a donation.
Maaike Kalse [F 1995]: Jean Maroun is de eerste student die een beroep doet op financiële steun vanuit de Foundation. Jouw bijdrage maakt het verschil!
For many hospitality talents at the Hotel Management School Maastricht this is their drive to choose for the hospitality industry.