Bright Profiles: A one-on-one sit-down with Fuad Alam

Learn more about Bright’s beginnings, from one of the founder voices, and finally get a clearer understanding of the work the association does. A deep dive into the forces and aspirations that made Bright at KTH a reality.


We all know how much we feel when starting a new hobby or endeavour, our skin prickles and our imagination runs rampant with the anticipation of what’s to come. The case for anything worth pursuing is even stronger, the passion and vision is even more amplified. This makes any hardship that might come along the way seem almost minute and far gone. 


The start of Bright at KTH is no exception to this pattern. Many of you might not know about how the association came about, and what group of inspiring individuals came together to drive this initiative. An initiative started with the hope of it growing and being a catalyst for long lasting change within all of KTH’s campuses and on a bigger scale, all other universities across all of Sweden. 


But really, what is Bright? This is a question many, members and non-members alike might have found themselves asking the Bright Board and Project Group or even their friends who attended Bright events. On one hand, there’s a clean cut answer that could be given, on the other hand, something as multifaceted as Bright aims to serve different purposes depending on the context in which it is operating.  Meaning, it is an ever evolving student association with a focus on change in different societal levels, that of integration, equality and fair study opportunities within the educational sphere to best serve all university students. 


Hopefully, through our first, of many upcoming profiles, with one of the founders of Bright at KTH, Fuad Alam, you will gain a greater understanding of his views on Bright’s core message and mission and finally get a better idea of what one can answer when asked about what Bright is. 


A couple of days prior to Christmas, I got on a zoom call with Fuad. If you ever had the opportunity to meet him, whether it was back when he was still a KTH student or at a Bright event, you would know of the kind of warmth he radiates, something which even comes across through the computer screen on a cold Monday evening. I sat down with him to ask some questions about Bright and hear his perspectives on what the association is aimed for, where he hopes it goes in the coming few years and how he contributed to get it up and running. 


Today, Fuad is a 25 year old living the recently graduated life and navigating adult life. Before that, he was a teenager born and raised in the suburbs of Stockholm, in Skarpnäck, who just like many of us found himself at KTH to follow his own dreams as well as his parents’ dreams which is one of his main sources of motivation as someone from a minority background. 


This factor gave Fuad a strong sense of duty when it came to Bright. Just as his parents sacrificed a lot for him to be here, many others at KTH find themselves in a similar spot. With this influence in mind, the thought of parents sacrificing their all for their children, but having their children’s background and identities turned against them, leaving them unable to reach their full potential, was simply an unacceptable reality for Fuad.


He wishes for Bright to be a beacon of light for students. That their time in academia will not be determined by who they are or where they come from. Instead, hoping it is and will be determined by their dreams and ambitions along with the right for all parents to confidently believe that their child can achieve anything.  


School and work, those are both two types of responsibilities most common amongst university students. In general, to remedy the inevitable daily stress the two might pose, each and every single student finds their own ways of coping and winding down. Some of us attend campus activities, others go even further and choose to engage themselves in the governing boards and groups which organise these activities. Comparatively, others take on social hobbies outside of school or choose to do solo activities. It goes without saying most of us need some kind of relief from the afflictions of daily life. 




Fuad was no different, he engaged himself within student life, attending chapter and campus events, exploring all that the KTH campus had to offer him at the time. The same could be said for his four co-founders and friends, William Ljungström Armah, Anir Darrazi, Leif Nasser and Nabil Hossain. Each individual in this quintet was exploring different opportunities within the student life which piqued their interest. They would then get together to chat about their individual ventures, talking about how “… We’re doing such cool things… Like, there’s so much great things to take from this thing called student life.”


However, as time passed by the more they got together, the more they noticed a trend of how their individual experiences differed from many of their other friends. These other friends would often say “… it’s not my thing…”, when prompted to join extracurricular activities. 

One anecdote Fuad shared was when part of the quintet was at a chapter pub playing beer pong without beer: “This is so cool that we’re hanging out in school, on campus, after school hours… And you know the feeling was very empowering…”


The group was able to come together and enjoy each other’s company but they felt that something was missing. While at first this something seemed to be a vibe, something as simple as the music. Later on, the quintet discussed possible solutions, one of them being a campus pub which would play a different style of music such as RnB, Afrobeats and Reggaeton. During this brainstorm they soon came to the conclusion that “Holy ****, this problem is so much bigger than just having the music you want at campus. It’s actually about, you know, what Bright it is today.”


The student association landscape was different prior to the start of Bright. In essence, Bright was born to satisfy a need for representation “… to empower the cultural minorities, that was our idea …”

During our conversation Fuad mentioned  how at the time he was a student, prior to Bright, he felt that there was a lack of representation at KTH, on an institutional level. “… You can’t really cover something you don’t represent. … There wasn’t really anyone to cover or, you know, speak about cultural diversity. That just wasn’t a thing to discuss…”. Thus, this motivated the quintet to change this. After all, “If you want change, you have to be the change yourself.”


Without a doubt change is underway and the association today is being acknowledged both by KTH and THS, through being awarded the President’s Equality and Diversity Prize, and also by companies that have now caught onto the importance of culture diversity in the workplace. All these forces working alongside Bright in their own domains helps further legitimise Bright’s purpose. 


Fuad’s vision for Bright is for it to be an oasis, such as one described in the book, The Alchemist. A place where different people gather, exchange experiences, knowledge and joy before heading back to their own corners, only this time enriched by previous meetings which they now can pass on. 


Ultimately to Fuad, when asked to describe Bright with three words, he mentioned: belonging, fun and empowerment. The vision is to  instil belonging, “… if we can show each other our differences and accept them, … we can [also] convince each other that we belong here equally as much …”. 


We shall continue to do this through fun activities and initiatives and put in the groundwork to make it empowering. Through the engagement and the exercise of passion and ambition by our biggest asset, the people, we can keep creating things the people need and want. Bright’s work will remain essential till it has managed to answer to the biggest needs and wishes of those it caters to.