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Spotlight: 7-11’s Nagib “Nez” Ahmed

Mills College Weekly

How you can meet Nez: He works the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift
at the 7-11 down the street.

Where he comes from: Yemen

Why he misses it: “People are different here…back home
you say hi and they say hi back to you. But here I feel embarrassed
when I give them my hand.”

His dream: To get married, have children, and then travel
the world with his wife on his arm. “I want nothing else from this

What he loves: Nabil Farouk’s The Possible Man, an
Egyptian superhero series he read as a child. “Amazing, amazing, I
could not stop reading. I walk, I’m reading. I eat, I’m reading…
my dad slapped me and said I have to respect the food. I go to the
restroom, I’m reading.” His friend returned to the Middle East this
summer and Nez asked him to bring back Farouk’s newest books. He
misses them. “Don’t tell my dad.” he said.

What he hates: Racists.

Favorite movies: “True Romance,” “Pretty Woman,” and
“Terminator 2” (he says two is the best).

Favorite music: Arabic music, rock and roll, and country.
“Rap is crap. Too much headache.”

Political agenda: Hopes Arnold can make our state
“golden” again despite his lack of experience.

His pets: Adored his parrot Mesha (name means nothing in
particular, however is derived from the Arabic word for pit of an
apricot). Four months ago she got out of her cage, tried to lay
next to him in bed, and Nez crushed her in his sleep. He keeps her
cage in the back room of 7-11 for memories.

Favorite place in Oakland: Enjoys the hills when he needs
a break.

His favorite person: His mom, because she taught him to
always be kind to everyone, to take care of everyone, and to give
what he has to give, even if he can’t afford to give money. He
leaves food outside 7-11, anonymously, for “the hungry people that
hang out there.”