My name is Geni. The Technion holds a special place in my heart, and here is why…
I moved to Israel in January 1974 at the age of 19, after just completing the first year in the state university of Minas Gerais, Brazil. My goal was to work hard to get accepted to the Technion, and study civil engineering. I enrolled at the Mechina of the Technion to learn Hebrew. I was accepted and commenced my engineering studies in September 1974.
Rewind back to January of that year, just 2 days after arriving in Israel, I met this charming young man named Eli, who was about to complete his undergraduate course of Industrial Engineering at the Technion. He, like me, lived in the students’ residence in Rehov Oren, Romema. We also shared the fact that we were both Olim (new immigrants) with no families in Israel. His family lived in Turkey and mine in Brazil. During shabbatot and holidays, the few of us who stayed in the Maon, would keep each other company.
As fate would have it, Eli and I started dating in January 1975 and a year later we were getting married. It was very obvious to both of us that the Technion was our second home, and that our Technion colleagues and friends were our family in Israel. On February 26, 1976, we got married at the synagogue of the Technion. We were so fortunate that Eli’s parents, as well as my mom and siblings were with us at our special Technion wedding.
I completed my undergraduate degree and proceeded to do post-graduate courses for Traffic and Transportation Engineering. I was accepted to work as a researcher in the Road Safety Research Center in the Civil Engineering Faculty. Still with Technion surrounding our lives, our daughter, Maya, was born, in May of 1979. The beautiful Technion campus was her playground.
I sometimes reflect on the fact that my years in Israel were in fact lived in the Technion. My adult professional life was so enriched by the experience of learning and working in this very unique environment of the Technion – every day gave birth to new ideas, lessons learned, and more questions asked that needed exploration and answers.
After working as engineers for a few years, Eli and I launched our international careers which saw us work and live in South Africa, Portugal, and Canada, where we settled permanently with our two children in 1994. In every country, the engineering foundation we received at the Technion, as well as the international recognition of our certifications opened so many doors for us!! We reached high positions and were recognized for our contributions. In 2007, was awarded the Transportation Person of the Year by Transport Canada and Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and was in fact the first female professional to receive such an honour; and most recently, I was awarded the 2022 Life Achievement Award by the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP).
Technion, we are so very grateful for the prestigious education we received that helped us build our careers and shape our lives, and of course we are also very grateful for the shidduch!
Geni and Eli Bahar