A Country That Has Brought the World to Me

Write a personal statement on a subject that illustrates who you are as an individual. For example, you may choose to write on a social issue about which you are passionate, an experience that has greatly influenced your life or taught you a valuable lesson, or about a challenge you have overcome. These are only suggestions, however; the choice of topic is yours.

"Saudi Arabia? That's a country Daddy? Where is it? Is it going to be like it is here? Are there going to be playgrounds and ice cream?"

Those were just a few of the thoughts that began circulating through my seven- year old mind. I was born in upstate New York and raised in Maryland, yet of Lebanese origin. Out of nowhere, I learned that I would soon have to leave my friends and the only place I had ever known existed; it turned my world upside down. I was just like any other seven-year old girl; obsessed with Barbies, playing dress-up with my mother's clothes and jauntily leading a carefree life. I was a very curious young child, always feeling the need to know something about everything. I was outgoing and sometimes a bit obnoxious, but then again who wasn't at the age of seven? Soon after I learned of our move to Saudi Arabia, everything changed.

I arrived in Saudi Arabia and experienced extreme culture shock. I learned that in public, women have to be covered from head to toe by wearing what the Saudis call an "abaya", which is a black cloak or gown that completely covers the female body. Women are not allowed to drive, work, or closely interact with men, and the weather is unbearably hot 11...

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