Presenting “Hope” at USF


I just came back from inspiring 34 students at the University at St. Francis in Joliet, I feel proud of myself and of the Syrian Students at IIT.

I didn’t prepare a motivational speech; to be honest I didn’t have any speech prepared at all. I was invited to join their International culture week along with my friend Safouh, to talk about our culture and education.
Things didn’t go according to plan, I started talking about my beloved country and the rich Arabic culture and how much we value education, and ended up telling stories about the Syrian Students at IIT and the enormous effort we all did to get to where we are.

I told them about my friends who fled the country’s worst time in modern history and almost dropped out of collage because of the war and other major obstacles, and how those same friends are now IIT graduates with full time positions in Goldman Sachs and Motorola.
I knew I inspired those 34 students who attended our presentation with our stories when I saw the look on their faces changing from pity to respect. I gave them a live example of overcoming the largest obstacles anyone can ever face and succeeding. I am sure that every one of them could relate to this in their own terms.

I am thankful to be able to present the story of Syrians at IIT, however I am blessed for being part of the story, a story of Hope.

Majed Abdulsamad
Major: Architecture

Expected date of Graduation: May 2016

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