Abdulrahman (or, Abdul, for short) Al Lily believes that being busy is a status that differentiates humans from other creatures, and hence he enjoys being busy. He believes that life is short, and hence he seeks to take advantage of any single moment of his life. He also believes that life happens only once, and thus he tries to explore as much as possible. He believes that the value of anyone’s life can be seen through the quantity (and indeed quality) of his/her achievements. He likes to view life from a questioning perspective, although he has been told that he seems to be always happy. He did his Master’s in Manchester and his doctorate in Oxford and acts as an assistant professor in King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. His interests lie at the intersection of education, technology, organisation, anthropology and sociology, the combination of which appears not to have constituted a major component of the theoretical worldview of educational technologies. He is interested in viewing higher education activity through a critically informed qualitative lens, looking at educational technologies beyond merely the educational and technological aspects to consider wider societal, cultural, political and economic issues. His passionate is about exploring what the literature of other fields (e.g. sociology, law, archaeology and anthropology) can offer to the field of educational technologies.
The achievement he is proud of most is that he finished his doctorate at the age of 28. He has sought to understand both scientific and non-scientific fields and learn how non-educational fields could benefit the field of education. For his undergraduate studies, he was interested in bringing together pure and applied mathematics and education, whereas for his Master’s in Manchester his academic interests were at the intersection of information, communication, technology, organisational politics and education. As he moved to Oxford for his doctorate, his academic ambition became to view educational technologies through a non-educational and non-technological lens, i.e. through a social lens. He received many prizes (including royal ones) for academic achievements.
After being a teaching assistant for four years and a lecturer for four years, he got promoted to Assistant Professor in King Faisal University. He enjoys teaching and training and was chosen as the best teacher at the national level in a competition among the many teacher’s colleges in Saudi Arabia. He is currently doing research for the promotion to Associate Professor. This current research focuses on education, technology, society, quality assurance, partnership and benchmarking. He has been engaged in some international research projects, for example a project about and sponsored by Wikipedia. He was politically active during his school, undergraduate and postgraduate lives. For example, during his undergraduate studies, he founded and chaired the Executive Committee of the Department of Mathematics. During his Master’s, he acted as a representative of his year group and was a member of the Curriculum Development Committee at the Department of Education.
During his doctorate, he was a representative of his college, sitting on the discussion table with the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford. He received many prizes for being socially and politically active and for being an influential speaker. During his professional life, he founded and vice-chaired the Committee for Benchmarking Against Ohio University and was a member of the Committee for Quality Assurance in the Faculty of Education, King Faisal University. Despite being busy with academic and developmental activities, he has a blog in English, which has been accessed by people from more than 140 countries worldwide, has been translated to 7 languages and has been talked about in the media of countries of all continents. The blogs aims to talk about Saudi culture from an anthropological perspective. He is currently working on a book that explores some cultural issues in Saudi Arabia. He became a writer of openDemocracy but gave up because of conflict of interest between him and an editor of the Journal. He has travelled across the global for academic and cultural purposes. Despite such a time-consuming lifestyle, he is considered to be an artist, being interested in interior and graphic design. He also gives workshops in basic skills, such as skills in interpersonal communication, skills in learning English and skills in information and communication technologies.