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Personal Narrative: My Arab American Community

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Even though I have never been on an airplane, I consider myself an international traveler. I live in the U.S. but I also have Lebanese immigrant parents. When I was younger, I used travel back and forth across international borders to fulfill my daily routine in one city. But; I was never Arab enough to fit in with “Arab” natives, and being Arab means that I would never be considered “American” enough. Because of this, I suffered from “identity jet lag”; and I always questioned where I belonged. My first stigma to my identity wasn’t from the outside world, but from the people who looked like me; Muslim/Arab women are often discouraged from following their passions, and told to follow a more traditional role. But as I grew older, I recognized…show more content…
Challenging myself to think outside metaphorical and physical boundaries of the world is the only place in my life where I have felt as though I truly belong. If I stop challenging myself, I lose a part of who I am. My entire life I have been traveling; but this time I feel as though I am steering the ship…I am not merely a passenger on-board my own Odyssey. Nevertheless, the transition did not occur overnight. Change is slow, and it requires constant effort, and necessitates understanding different perspectives and their barriers; It requires me to disenthrall myself from the customary ways of thinking and…show more content…
My desire to attend and conduct research at the University of Michigan is because of its reputation for being academically rigor and this ability to challenge me to my ultimate abilities to help me build and strengthen the requisite learning and skills so I am better prepared for work, life and the challenges tomorrow will bring. A Michigan educational experience will help me better understand why people struggle and provide me with the tools to develop solutions these challenges. I grew up understanding that certain structural barriers could alienate people whether these be: race, ethnicity, religion, or income. For example, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan was a man-made humanitarian disaster rooted from economic constraint and it seemed to be something that should never have occurred. Americans citizens, who lived less than an hour away from me were being poisoned — deprived of clean water; a human right. I acted, and did research on local non-profits helping to support Flint residents with the water crisis. During my research, I learned about a Michigan nonprofit social services agency and the work they were doing relative to the Flint crisis. They had planned a trip to Flint to help distribute water, and I was encouraged to volunteer. Seeing first-hand the people behind the headlines; I saw
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