On the 4th of August 2012, exactly one year ago, I received an email from Jusoor informing me that I have been admitted to Illinois Institute of Technology as a transfer undergraduate student with a %50 scholarship award. In a 3-week period from applying, I was selected as one of the 28 students, among more than 400 applicants that will be joining IIT for the fall of 2012.
There are no words that can describe the feeling I had that day. I was totally shocked that, during only 3 weeks of applications process, I was given a chance to transfer from a not-very-well-known university, in the middle of the Syrian conflict, to one of the best universities in the United States. Before that time, I have never thought of doing my undergrad studies in the US and pursuing a bachelor degree from an American university. Even the grad studies, it wasn’t on my future plan due to the financial and academic difficulties that a Syrian student usually will have in case he/she decides to continue their studies in the US.
One year ago, I was totally unaware of what future was holding for me. I didn’t even know if I was going to continue my study in my college or to pause it until further notice. I didn’t even know whether my university was going to be closed or not due to the bombing and fire shooting that were happening constantly nearby the location and on the road of my university. I knew nothing, and everything was unpredictable.
One year ago, Jusoor, IIT, and my family believed in me and did the best they can do to help me. Jusoor helped me financially and academically, IIT gave me a scholarship, and finally my family gave me all kinds of support, psychologically and financially – and I want to mention here my elder brother Sameer that if it was not for him I wouldn’t be here in the US writing right now writing this blog post.
Now, I’m here in the US, live in an amazing city, getting high-level education in an outstanding university, doing a research with a professor, and working a part-time job on campus. All that dramatic change happened to me thanks to Jusoor and my family. None of the above would have happened if it wasn’t for them. They simply changed my life and drew a smile upon my face. I really appreciate their efforts, and I’m really thankful to the chance I was given. I really hope someday to pay it back and change someone’s life exactly as they did to me.