Throughout my childhood, I was constantly reminded how much I didn’t know about my heritage. I never understood my parents when they spoke in Arabic. They enrolled me in a Sunday school to learn Islamic studies, which turned out to be ineffective. Whenever I spoke on the phone with family overseas, I couldn’t understand a word they said. As a result, eight years ago, my parents flipped my life upside down and inside out by making the biggest decision of our lives: We were moving halfway across the world, all the way to Amman, Jordan. Naturally, this decision was shocking to me, but it was a great many other things as well. I felt excited, yet scared; fascinated, yet furious. Day and night, I constantly thought of this upcoming adventure …show more content…
What I thought would be a simple “moving to a new home” became something much, much more.
Looking back at this chapter in my life, I believe my experiences in Jordan have played a huge part in the reasoning for many of my major beliefs and actions. Visiting different parts of the Middle East has introduced me to the political and ethical views of its people. Being exposed, sometimes first hand, to incidents in the Middle East established an interest in me for current events and involving myself in charity and volunteer work for the region. Learning Arabic and about my religion has allowed me to volunteer at the Arabic and Islamic School of Roanoke, where I have been fortunate enough to pass on my knowledge to young Muslims in my community. Additionally, my time in Jordan has led me to become much more open-minded. I think that being exposed to differing ideas and beliefs overseas and in the US has made me more accepting and interested in other cultures and lifestyles.
My move overseas was truly a “journey” that offered my undeniably valuable experience and knowledge of my roots. It also allowed me to embrace my diversity and use it to learn more about my true self and to successfully identify myself with the Arab and Muslim communities in America. All in all, I believe that living in Jordan has played a huge part in the piecing together of my identity. Without this experience, I do not think I would have accomplished many of the things I
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The day was finally here. It was November 11, 1990, the day that our family was to go to ¡®Land Of Liberty.¡¯ I heard so many different things about this country called United States of America and I was warned that it would be nothing you¡¯ve expected. The plane ride did not seem as long as it was; partly because I was lost in my own thoughts with hopes and anxiety. I thought about what I will become in this massive country I was headed and how soon I will adapt to this new culture and people.
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