Mohammad Hamid, a 21-yearold American University student who was fatally injured Thursday afternoon in a fall from a rooftop at Georgetown University, was not an ordinary Jordanian exchange student, officials noted yesterday.
In 1975, Hamid was the best high school student in Jordan and earned the right to a college schoolarship abroad, not merely under the auspices of the Jordanian government, but of King Hussein himself, a Jordanian embassy official said yesterday.
When Hussein visited Washington last April, it was known that he went out of his way to see Hamid.
Hamid's death was ruled a suicide yesterday by Dr. Brian Blackbourne, a deputy D.C. medical examiner Hamid had been pronounced dead at 5:55 p.m. Thursday, about an hour after a six - story fall from the seventh-floor roof of the Reiss science building at Georgetown.
police said Hamid had fallen to the roof of an entranceway to the building. Access to the seventh-floor, which contains a greenhouse, is "not very difficult," according to Dr. George Chapman, chairman of the Georgetown biology department.
Blackbourne said he had information that Hamid "was depressed and was seeing a doctor."
Friends who knew Hamid as a sophomore at American University said they had trouble telling if he was depressed because he was an extremely quiet person.
"He was always very quiet about things." said Denise Perry, a senior from New York City who lives in Letts Hall, the dormitory in which Hamid lived during most of his 13 months in Washington. "He was always very nice, but I really didn't know him that well." she said, echoing what many people said of Hamid yesterday.
Only Hamid's resident adviser at Letts Hall. Fahima Mortazavi, said she was close to him.
"I knew him from the day he first got off the plane here last September. We talked often. I saw him one way or another every day. I think I probably knew him better than anyone here." she said.
Mortazavi would not say if Hamid had come to her to discuss problems but would not deny that he had. A native of Iran, who came here as an exchange student at the University of Maryland 12 years ago, she said Hamid worked hard, "but I don't think he overworked himself."
"He had all the friends he needed. American cannot really understand the social needs of foreign students. They are very different." Mortazavi said.
Eric Stott, Hamid's roommate this semester, also said he did not know Hamid well. "We never really had any conversations." "Usually it would just be me saying 'Mohammad, please clean the room." Stott said.
Stott said Hamid smoked constantly. "Always, it never stopped." he said.
Hamid, a computer science major, was taking one class with Prof. Nathaniel Macon who said he was "very disappointed to hear what had happened. He was a very good student, at least in my class. I was shocked when I heard."
David Gomberg, a computer science professor who was Hamid's academic adviser, said "I wish I knew more about him, but I just didn't know him that well."
No one at American could think of any particular reason why Hamid would visit Georgetown Thursday afternoon.
"Why he came here. I don't know." said Chapman the Georgetown biology chairman. Chapman said he talked to students and professors at Georgetown yesterday and that none recalled having seen Hamid.
When the other students on Hamid's floor at Letts Hall were told of his death at a meeting yesterday afternoon, there was only one verbal response, Mortavazi said.
"There was silence. And then one student said, 'We just didn't know him.' That was all."