“I was born in Egypt”

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“I was born in Egypt. I lived in Chicago for five years when I was little, and that’s when I learned English and got used to the culture. We moved to the U.S. so my dad could get his PhD from Illinois Institute of Technology, and we just love it here. I love the U.S. because there are just so many opportunities for me. I love studying and expanding upon the ‘norms.’ You can do whatever you want here. The sky’s the limit. Whatever your passion is, you can pursue it. The hardest part about moving to the U.S. was having to make new friends. I don’t have childhood friends here, so when I’m hanging out with a whole bunch of girls from MSA [Muslim Students’ Association], they’ve known each other since the first grade, and I’m this new girl. I dislike having to explain my hijab to everyone. I have a hard time relating to very American people. Not everyone is going to understand my religion, but I have hope.”

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