Growing up in Egypt, my family did not have much – my parents were extremely loving people who taught myself and my sister the value of a good education. Working often menial jobs, they scrimped, saved and worked as hard as they could to allow us to follow our dreams. When the time came to graduate high school, my family’s limited finances left us with a dilemma – allow me to go to school right away, or to save that money and work harder to help my sister achieve her dream of becoming a medical doctor. I immediately knew the right choice was to save that chance for my sister; to that end, I went to work to contribute to the family’s income, becoming a paid soccer player for a professional team while my sister went on to medical school to become a doctor.
When the time came for me to pursue my education, I chose to enter the field of pharmacy, taking my cousin’s career as a successful pharmacist as an example. However, we still could not afford to send me to pharmacy school, so I pursued chemistry in college (a pursuit I excelled in). Upon graduation, I got married, and chose to emigrate to the United States in order to give a better life to my family. Having grown up knowing America as “the land of opportunity,” I set to work creating as many opportunities for myself as I could. Taking even the most menial job if it meant I could provide for my family, I mopped floors, made donuts and worked late hours with a glad heart. In terms of my education, I was advised to take English and philosophy, along with other general courses, to increase my chances of getting into pharmacy school. Balancing studying and my work and family lives was hard, but I have managed quite well thus far.
While in America, I heard about the revolution happening in Egypt in 2011, during the Arab Spring – I could not help but think of my family during all of that turmoil. My father lost his pension, and so I now send some money back home to help my parents afford their medication. Redoubling my efforts, I remembered how hard they worked to give myself and my sister the opportunity to succeed, and so I worked even harder to get into pharmacy school. Having passed a medical physiology course in my college education, I feel confident that I can handle the challenges of pharmacy school-level courses.
My life thus far has been a series of incredible challenges – from poverty and turmoil to emigration and settling in a new culture, I have had a lot to work through.
However, I believe my success in navigating these challenges shows the dedication and hard work I am willing to put in to achieve my dreams. My experience with peoples of different cultures would also allow me to relate to people of all backgrounds, and improve my ability to fit in with whatever communities I find myself in. To that end, I would be extremely grateful for the opportunity, if chosen, to become a pharmacy student in your program; I would bring the same level of commitment, patience and effort to this program as I have all the other obstacles in my life. This next step in my life would be the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of work, perseverance, and struggle, yet would be my first step into a much larger world.