Soliman family celebrates three Tech graduates on same day

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All three Soliman brothers earning bachelor’s degrees in 2013 wasn’t planned.

“It just happened,” Moaaz said. “It wasn’t coordinated.”

Karen Bailey-Bowman/El Defensor Chieftain: In back, left to right, graduating Soliman brothers Omar, 22; Moaaz, 20; and Sohaib, 21. In front, parents Azza Ezzat and Hamdy Soliman. All three brothers graduated with bachelor’s degrees from Tech at the May 11 commencement.

Sohaib, the middle child, finished his biology degree in the usual four years. Moaaz managed to graduate in three (only one of three students to have done that this year and at 20, the youngest Tech graduate). Omar could have graduated ahead of his brothers, but because of his double major in computer science and management, had to spend an extra year earning his degree.

Moaaz, the youngest of the three, couldn’t resist a little gloating. Being a biology major, his department walked before his brother Omar’s computer science department. And his brother Sohaib, a fellow biology department graduate, was lower on the list.

“I got my degree first alphabetically,” he said. “It was kind of cool to be sitting next to Sohaib and in front of Omar. For the first time, I got to be first.”

Walking at Tech’s commencement isn’t the first time the three brothers — all one year apart — have done the same thing at the same time, said mother Azza Ezzat.

“All of them were in diapers, they all had bottles, they all were two-year-olds and teenagers,” Ezzsat said.

She and her husband chauffeured and coached the boys when they all were on soccer and swim teams, in spelling bees, declamation contests, Science Olympiad competitions and science fairs.

“When they (finally) didn’t need me, I went to work at the high school,” Ezzat said.

Father Hamdy Soliman, a professor in Tech’s computer science and engineering department, recalled dealing with three toddlers on international flights.

“When we flew, we took up an entire front row,” he said. “The car seats!”

The Soliman brothers, all graduating with highest honors, racked up impressive achievements during their time at Tech — Moaaz won both biology department awards; Sohaib, student government association president and current Macey Scholar, won the 2013 C. T. Brown award and the Student Appreciation award; and Omar was a two- term student regent.

Two of the illustrious trio will leave the nest this fall.

Moaaz has been accepted at the University of Michigan medical school in Ann Arbor, and Sohaib will be leaving for the University of Washington dental school in Seattle, where he will pursue his goal to be a maxillofacial surgeon. Omar will begin graduate school at Tech in computer science and engineering, and finish up his second bachelor’s degree in management.