My Arab heritage has always been a very important part of my life. Growing up in Morocco, my family was a huge influence on my life and the person that I am and will become. One of the most important things that my family instilled in my from an early age was a love of education and an appreciation for academia. My father is a university professor and was a strong role model throughout my life.
Throughout my life I watched him enjoy learning, and he tried to give this love of education to me from an early age by reading to me and teaching me the value of an education in a world where poverty runs rampant. If knowledge is power, he taught me, then I needed to do whatever I could to get an education, just as he had done. This aspect of his life was so important to him that I knew from an early age, without hesitation, that I wanted to get an education as well. This valuing of education is present in all of my family members. My sisters and brother all have Ph.D.’s in various disciplines and are using their education to become successful members of their communities. I, too, want to use my education to become a better person and a strong professional within the community.
I came to the United States a few years ago with the intention of getting a higher education in this country. My dream of obtaining a degree inspired me to leave my home behind and pursue an education that I was certain would help make me into a successful professional. Currently, I am a junior in the leadership and management program at my college and this has inspired me to continue my education in business and management. Watching my father and then my siblings follow their dreams and grow through their obtaining a strong educational background has helped me to understand how important it is. Many people do not have the opportunities that I have had and were not given the firm foundation that my upbringing has given me, so I feel blessed to be able to pursue an education here in America and look forward to becoming an integral part of my community, just as my family has been in their community.
When I first came to the United States to further my education I immediately began to look around for some way to become involved in the Arab-American community. My search for an organization that would help me transition from my home in Morocco to my home here, and that would help me become a part of and serve my community, brought me to the Network of Arab-American Professional (NAAP). This organization immediately drew me in, and the programs that I became involved in through my association with the NAAP has been an important part of my life. The NAAP strives to educate the community about Arab-American culture, to promote social interaction amongst Arab-American and Arab professionals, both here in the United States and abroad, and strives to serve others through community service. All of these objectives are important to me, as well.
Through my association with the NAAP I have become extremely involved in my community. I enjoy helping others and have found that participating in outreach programs, especially any programs involving children, is really a passion of mine. My experiences giving back to the community include community service, such as reading to children, becoming involved in supporting the Arab student movement in the United States, and promoting a love of education in these students. I enjoy volunteering for different charity events, especially feeding the poor and donating to charities that were established to help feed those who cannot feed themselves. I also feel that by networking with other Arab-Americans I can gain acquaintances and friends who can inspire me to become more involved with the community in different and varied ways. My experiences with the NAAP have been some of the best of my life and I plan to continue my association with them for a very long time, and am eager to continue contributing to society and my community through the help of their outreach programs.
My intention when I came to the United States was to pursue an education and obtain my degree in leadership and management, and after I complete my degree I have many plans to become even more involved in my community through service and outreach. After the completion of my degree I want to give back to the Arab-American community that has helped me since my transition to America and who has helped foster me into a better person. I intend to do this through participation in the NAAP, but also in other organizations that have come to my attention in recent months.
The NAAP is a program that I am involved with now and is very important to me, as it has taught me the value of becoming a member of a community and how important it is to give back. I am also interested in becoming more politically involved after obtaining my degree, and would like to pursue a relationship with the National Council of Arab Americans, who focuses on political empowerment.With a degree in leadership and management, I also look forward to becoming a professional in the business community and see my profession as a means of helping the Arab-American community even more. Through my associations as a businessman I want to give back to the community through my involvement with youth, helping tutor them in after school programs and showing them the importance of an education as a mentor to a child who doesn’t have an older sibling to inspire them to become driven individuals.
I also want to begin a program for young Arab-Americans who come here for college, helping them by becoming a mentor and being a part of their support system here in the U.S. while they are away from their families and friends back in their home country. This is important because my involvement with the NAAP become a support system for me here in the U.S.
, which has made me realize the importance of helping others to succeed. In this way, my education will not only benefit me, but also my community and the people who are an important part of it.