A Passion for Speed and Knowledge: The Inspiring Journey of Osama Mareai

In the world of competitive sports, where speed and skill often collide, there emerges a unique breed of individuals who defy the odds, pursuing their dreams with unwavering dedication. This article delves into the extraordinary journey of one such individual, Osama Mareai, an athlete whose love for speed catapulted them onto the racing track, and a PhD in Sport Studies student whose thirst for knowledge has led them to pursue academic excellence.

Meet our remarkable athlete-PhD student who embodies the spirit of a champion, not only on the racecourse but also in the pursuit of higher education. Through an insightful interview, we explore his motivations, triumphs, and aspirations, shedding light on the values and beliefs that drive them forward.

From his humble beginnings, where the roar of engines and the thrill of speed captured his imagination, to his first victory in the face of adversity, we trace the path that has led Osama to become a true inspiration to many. His story transcends the boundaries of sports and academia, serving as a beacon of hope for his nation, Yemen facing its own challenges.

Q: What inspired your involvement in this sport?

Osama: The allure of speed has always captivated me. When I first laid my hands on a bike, I couldn’t help but think, “This machine is incredibly fast; it could be lethal.” I felt the need to ride it safely and master the power and speed it offered. That’s how I initially found my way to the world of motorcycle racing. Prior to that, I had no idea that dedicated tracks even existed. It was a friend who introduced me to the Sepang track and the competitions held there, marking the beginning of my journey in this sport.

Q: Can you recall your first victory?

Osama: Yes, I vividly remember my first win, which took place at Sepang. Just days before the official race, I had a major crash during training, resulting in a sprained foot that made walking a challenge. Despite these setbacks, my team and I worked tirelessly to ensure my bike was race-ready. It was my debut race in the MSF, and I had to overcome not only my injury but also a penalty, forcing me to start from the last position on the grid, the 40th spot. Remarkably, I still managed to secure the victory.

Q: Your resilience is truly the mark of a champion. What drives you to persist in the face of injuries and adversity?

Osama: It all comes down to passion. When you love something profoundly and it becomes your obsession, you find the strength to persevere, no matter how daunting the challenges, how many injuries you endure, or the drama that unfolds. The desire to excel grows stronger with each setback. While there may be moments when motivation wanes, I remind myself that I’m not just doing it for my own satisfaction. I’ve become a role model for many, and they look up to me. My achievements, performances, and progress inspire them and instill belief in their own abilities. Hard work and dedication can take you to unimaginable heights. Nothing is insurmountable.

Q: You’ve mentioned some admirable values. What kind of champion do you aspire to be, particularly for the youth in your country?

Osama: Our country has faced numerous challenges, including conflicts and turmoil. My aspiration is to demonstrate to the world that, given the right circumstances and opportunities, we, too, can achieve anything that others have accomplished. We possess the capability to work diligently, pursue our goals relentlessly, and attain international recognition if we manage to capture the attention of the global community.

Q: What motivated you to pursue a PhD in Sport Studies at CityU?

Osama: After completing my Master’s degree, I was eager to further my studies in a field closely related to my passion for sports. I’ve always been a sports enthusiast, so selecting this program was a natural choice to align my academic pursuits with my interests and life goals.

Q: As the first Yemeni racer and a full-time PhD student, what message and hope do you wish to convey to the people of Yemen?

Osama: Sadly, many young people in my country have been drawn into conflicts and wars. Witnessing them bearing arms and participating in violence saddens me deeply. I firmly believe that knowledge is the key to success in any endeavor. To achieve success, you must continuously expand your knowledge, focus on your studies, and broaden your perspective. Believe in yourself and strive for personal growth.

Q: CityU has a rich history of producing champions over the past 40 years. What thoughts come to mind when we discuss the concept of a champion?

Osama: Striving to be a champion is a relentless pursuit. In this highly competitive and perilous arena, everyone vies for the top spot. Regardless of your skill level on the bike, there will always be someone aiming to dethrone you. Thus, maintaining one’s position at the pinnacle demands unwavering consistency and unrelenting hard work.

The tapestry of Osama Mareai’s life is a compelling amalgam of speed, determination, intellect, and indomitable spirit. From maneuvering bikes with finesse on the racing tracks to delving deep into the annals of Sport Studies, his journey is not only an inspiration but also a testament to the sheer power of passion and commitment. As he continues to traverse the paths of both academia and sports with equal vigor, Mareai stands as a beacon of hope and an unequivocal source of inspiration for many, epitomizing the true essence of a champion.

In the symphony of his roaring engines and echoing accolades, City University Malaysia has provided a platform where dreams are not just nurtured but fervently realized. It is here that the boundless opportunities for personal and professional development await, inviting aspiring individuals from all walks of life to explore, learn, and ultimately, triumph. For those who are enthralled by the prospect of melding passion with education, City University Malaysia unfurls its welcoming arms, offering a canvas where your dreams can be painted, pursued, and achieved. Embark on a transformative journey with CityU, just as Osama did, and discover a world where passion meets opportunity, and dreams meet reality.

This event marked a positive step towards international cooperation and cross-cultural learning in a world emerging from the challenges of the pandemic, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration among students from different corners of the globe.

To find out more about our postgraduate programs offered at City University Malaysia, please visit the faculty page here.