Posted May 18, 2022

Temple Made for … building community

Mohammad Hadaihed found his calling while working in his family’s food truck, located right outside Temple’s School of Pharmacy on North Broad Street.

Mohammad Hadaihed holds a sign reading "not just pharmacy, but family"
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
Mohammad Hadaihed got to know campus while working in his family's food truck, The Mediterranean Lunch Truck. Now he's graduating from the School of Pharmacy.

Name: Mohammad Hadaihed
Major: Doctor of Pharmacy
Temple Made moment: My first introduction to Temple came before I was a student there. A couple years after moving to the U.S., when I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. We were excited to be in this country and all of the sudden we got hit with this fear of losing our loved one. She started seeing doctors at Temple Hospital, and the amount of caring that was done for her was amazing. We all felt like we were at home every time we were there, and I feel so much connection with Temple now, including with the staff, based on my whole experience here. 

For many Temple students, North Broad Street feels like home. But for Mohammad Hadaihed, Class of 2022, it’s where he’s truly spent most of his young life. Hadaihed’s family came to the U.S. in 2006 from Syria, and a few years after settling here, his father purchased The Mediterranean Lunch Truck, which sits right outside of Temple’s School of Pharmacy. His family initially discovered the food truck because they occasionally stopped by it while Hadaihed’s mother received cancer treatment at Temple University Hospital.

“It was one of our worst times, but I think God does his miracles,” Hadaihed said. “That my dad found this truck while my mom was at her appointments … it feels like everything fell into place.”

Throughout high school and his first two years at Community College of Philadelphia, Hadaihed worked at the food truck, taking orders and chatting with folks in line.  

“My parents taught me to look at people as more than just customers,” he said. “I made a lot of friends who were students and professors at the School of Pharmacy.”

As Hadaihed conversed with members of the School of Pharmacy community, he was surprised to learn that he wouldn’t need a bachelor’s degree to apply to the school. He wanted to be in health care in some capacity, and started to see a future for himself in pharmacy. After work, he started hanging out with pharmacy students and meeting with professors who would go over his transcripts and show him around the school.

“It was like a seed growing in my head, like, this is really what I want to do,” Hadaihed said. “The professors were more than just professors, they were like family. Everyone was so connected to everyone else, and I really wanted to be a part of that.” 

Under the guidance of Joan Hankins, director of admissions at the School of Pharmacy, and the mentorship of Professors Nima Patel-Shori and Talitha Pulvino, Hadaihed took the PCATs and kept up his GPA, and in 2018 he was accepted to Temple and began taking classes. 

Transitioning from community college to Temple wasn’t easy, and Hadaihed leaned on the support network he’d been building for years to stay afloat.

“Every time I felt like I was falling behind, I dropped into my professors’ offices,” he remembered. “None of my encounters were just about grades. They always asked about my family and I felt like I was at my second house.” 

Now, on the cusp of graduation, Hadaihed dreams of owning an independent chain of pharmacies where he can carry on the close-knit community spirit that was so impactful to him during his journey through Temple. 

“I’ll always remember my roots and the people who were there for me every step of the way, especially on Broad Street—that’s literally my home,” he said. “I saw my worst moments there—being afraid of losing my mom—and my best moments—being white- -coated in the ceremony. I just have so much love for Broad Street.” 

- Emily Kovach