My full name is Maher Sameer Obiora Hoque. I am from Bangladesh, a beautiful developing country in South Central Asia. I was born on May 24, 1980 in Brooklyn, New York. I lived in Nsukka, Nigeria for six years (1980-1986) with my parents, Mominul and Tanveer Hoque, and my two older sisters, Abeer and Simi. Nigeria was awesome. Though I was very young, I still fondly remember such things as the rainy season, badminton courts and no speed limits on the way from Nsukka to Enugu or Lagos.
In 1986, we moved from Nsukka to Pittsburgh. We have been here for over 20 years. I am proud of the role that Pittsburgh has played in professional sports (the first World Series, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Mario Lemieux and the STEELERS), in the arts (Gene Kelly and Andy Warhol) and in world history (more steel was produced in Pittsburgh during WWII than in all of Europe combined).
I hold a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (General Management – concentrations in MIS & Finance) from the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittburgh (class of 2002). Since 2008, I have worked as a Healthcare Onboarding Project Manager at PNC Heathcare in Pittsburgh. I manage the implementation of PNC’s IOCR and Direct 835′s products for healthcare systems across the country. Prior to that, I spent 5 years as a Solution Architect at Cerner Corporation where I managed implementations from Kansas City to Dallas, NYC to Sacramento, London to Abu Dhabi and lived the glamorous vagabond consluting life so expertly portrayed by George Clooney in Up in the Air (minus the rugged good looks and trysts with Vera Farmiga).
Sports-wise, you name it and I’ll probably like it or want to give it a try. My favourites (duh! I’m from W. Pa) are Football, Futbol, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball. NO CRICKET!
I enjoy reading, writing, singing and listening to music.
I love to travel.
I hope, oh lord do I hope you dance.
All-Time Favorite Movies
The Sting (George Roy Hill, 1973)
Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
The Matrix (the Wachowski Bros, 1999)
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1956)
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyasaki, 2001)
Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963)
Aladdin (Ron Clements/John Musker, 1992)
The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995)
Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen, 1956)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1995)
All-Time Favorite Books
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Candide by Voltaire
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Night by Elie Wiesel
All-Time Favorite Songs
Soul to Squeeze by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie
Nuthin’ But A G Thang by Dr. Dre f/Snoop Doggy Dogg
Winter by Tori Amos
The Life by Mystic
Galla Guriyan by American Desi Soundtrack
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
Man Dole Mera Tan Dole by Nagin Soundtrack
Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Von Beethoven
Canon In D by Johann Pachelbel
Dream On by Aerosmith
My father, (Abul Kasim Muhammad) Mominul Hoque, is a fiction writer and recently retired from his job as a Senior Engineering Geologist for a geotechnical consulting firm in Pittsburgh. He received a B.S. in Chemistry, Soil Sciences and Geology from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh in 1955 and an M.S. in Petrolium Geophysics from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan in 1957. He came to the US in 1961 as one of the first South Asian Fulbright Scholars, where he received an M.A. in Geology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1963 and completed his Ph.D. in Sedimentology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965. Among other careers, he has worked for Standard Oil Company as a Petroleum Geologist. He has taught at various universities in Iraq, Libya and Nigeria and has been as a visiting professor in Bangladesh, at the University of Pittsburgh and at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He finally retired as a Professor of Geology from the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) after 14 years (1972-1986) there.
My mother, Tanveer Kawnain Hoque, is also a teacher. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan and an M.S. in Economics from the University of Nigeria in Nsukka. She taught in Nsukka until she had me (oops!). She also holds an Associate Degree in Accounting and teaches at the Community College of Allegheny County.
My sisters are … girl things:
My oldest sister, Abeer Yusria Hoque, is a writer. She has been published many times and is shopping around for a Publisher for her novel, Olive Witch: An American Dream. It’s an amazing work of literature and I’m sure it will be published soon!! Abeer recently completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco and also holds a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Information Systems as well as a Masters of Arts in Information Systems from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Abeer likes to exercise in futility, talk endlessly on her cell phone and be hungry.
My younger older sister, Simi Tasneem Hoque, is a professor of green architecture, engineering, and environmental science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.Arc (Masters in Architecture), which is a professional degree in Architecture similar to the one that Engineers must obtain to practise professionally, from Cal-Berkeley. She has completed an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and did her B.A. in Civil Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Simi likes to run, be melodramatic and practice her “evil eye” (although it’s still pretty pathetique). Her partner, Ezra, is an atmospheric scientist. I also have a 1.5 year old niece, Vesper Woodhoque.
Yes, I am well aware that I is the black sheep of the family. But all I wanna do is dance!!!… er something.
Tiens, c’est ma vie. Arigatoo gozaimasu. Sayoonara!!!