Where are you from?
I am from Alexandria, Egypt born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

What was your childhood like?
My childhood has been traveling back and forth regularly between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I attended an international school for 11 years.

What brought you to Cleveland?
Initially, my academic goals were to pursue a medical career with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

What were your first thoughts about coming to the United States? Did those change?
First thoughts were being skeptical of how successful I’d be to assimilate in the U.S. while maintaining my own culture, identity and set of values. This skepticism has changed to optimism based on achievements and experience.

What challenges did you face transitioning here?
My biggest challenge was to pack my bags, leave my family and start a new challenge in a completely foreign environment to me. I transferred here and did not have any connections or family members in Cleveland. I basically had to start my way up with absolutely no assistance or guidance.

What is your occupation? Are you a member of a sorority, fraternity, or any other civic or social organization?
I am currently pursuing a full-time position as I had recently graduated with a double masters degree in global politics and global business in management and human resources. I was a member/officer of a number of organizations at Cleveland State like Student Government, Arab Student Union, Muslim Student Association. I am also a member of Phi Sigma Iota honor society for foreign languages. In Cleveland, I am an active member of a number of International, Middle Eastern and Arab organizations. I am a regular participant in events and function of Global Cleveland and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?
My most successful experience and fondest memory of feeling welcomed was getting elected as the first international student body president at Cleveland State for two successive terms.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?
I regularly attend events organized by the Egyptian, and Arab, community in Cleveland, including holiday celebrations, social gatherings etc. I am a regular attendee of services held by several mosques in Cleveland. I also practice soccer regularly, currently competing in three different leagues.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?
Refugees and immigrants bring in new ideas; new ideas means new ways and opportunities; new opportunities means progress and advancement. This pretty much applies to all aspects of life.

Why is it important to travel abroad?
“Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”…