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Memorable Experiences

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Memorable Experiences

In life, some situations may stir up a state of confusion about one’s identity to one of clarity. The character of a human being only becomes real when they begin to see themselves for whom and what they are. The first step to growth and improvement is the understanding of oneself. Since, one can only change a bad trait when they are well aware of its existence. Currently, I am a Saudi Arabian, studying in a different country. It has been quite difficult and an adventure as well. English is my second language while Islam is my religion since am Arabic. Honestly, it is not easy to be a minority n this country. However, my endurance has shown me that I am not one to let another dictate how I will live my life.

A few years ago, I received the news that I would be coming to study in the U.S. While the news was good, there were many worries in my mind especially because of the many stereotypes aimed at Arabs. The assumption is that because we are Muslims then we are terrorists, extremist and rich. Consequently, for a while, I was depressed over the idea of being in an unknown country away from my family; who are my safe zone. It was even more difficult because many people who heard of the good news took it to themselves, to educate on the many stereotypes about the west. Apparently, women walk naked to tempt men, where people like exerting control over your life and there is a lack of culture, family values and respect. Such tales would put pressure and worry over any human being especially in my position since the Arab community is closely guarded and cultured. The torment of the unknown continued for a while, it was so serious that at a particular point, I considered counting my losses and giving up the opportunity.

The over-flow of emotions cast a blinding effect on me. Therefore, at that moment I had no way of seeing past all the stereotyping and the fear. It was without question a dangerous road, which would most likely result in me making the wrong decision. Subsequently as a wise man of faith, I made a choice not to make a decision at that particular time and instead allow the news to sink in. Keeping a distance from all naysayers while I was still in a dilemma was of great help as well. The decision allowed for a moment of clarity to see things as they are, to consider that chance as an opportunity for betterment of my future. Subsequently, resulting in making a decision to take a leap of faith. It meant taking that opportunity and making the best of it. A promise to me followed; that I would give my all to my schoolwork as well as make efforts to assimilate into the American society the best way I could without losing myself.

It has been a while now since arriving to this beautiful country. I realized that it is a land full of promise and opportunity. The benefits of my decision to take the opportunity, clearly, indicate it was the right choice. It is true that sometimes there are cases of stereotyping; occasionally, there are some people stare with those judging, suspicious looks while others simply stay away maybe due to fear. I am learning that their behavior is a representation of their character and not mine. Therefore, I have no business being a representation of their ignorance. I am learning that there are some people who see past the fear, hatred, arrogance and pride. Such individuals see me for who I am, they become close friends. My friends make me feel that I have a home even if I am far away from my own home. In all situations, we should choose love instead of hatred. The decision I made was one of love and courage instead of fear and hatred. Now that I am enjoying the fruits, I realize I am not like everyone else, fearful, self-righteous and uncivilized. It occurs to me that I am different; I have always been different. However, many may not agree or accept my indifference, being abnormal, as they say, rather different, has never felt so good. Evidently, people over-rate being normal, luckily I do not I intend to be normal rather be extra-ordinary.…...

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