I was born and raised in Somalia, and my parents were all of Somali origin. The living conditions in my native country deteriorated in the 1990s after the civil war started. My family moved to Qatar worrying about our lives. The relocation disrupted my education, as I left my former school to continue studying in Qatar. However, the school environment in Qatar was not smooth, because non-citizen students had no equal rights with Qatar-born students. Also, all our properties were left in Somalia, and my parents had difficulties recovering from the financial loss they suffered due to the relocation. We were detached from my extended family back in Somalia, which affected us emotionally.
The Body of the Personal Statement
Students from Qatar were given priority and teachers rarely paid attention to the concerns of non-citizen students. That made my life in school hard, because I was not used to such an unfriendly school environment. Another blow came when my father was fired and replaced by a Qatar citizen because native citizens were given priority over immigrants. According to the culture in Qatar, women are not allowed to work. They are entitled to stay in the house and attend to household chores. For this reason, my mother could not secure a job. Our family was in a deep financial crisis, and my parents could hardly manage to pay our bills. My career was fading, and I was losing focus in life. I could not concentrate on my studies, because I had no opportunity to apply to the university.
Moreover, just like in my mother country, I faced cultural threats in Qatar. Now, when my education was almost ending, I was on the eve of becoming a housewife. According to the culture in Qatar, women are often pushed into marriage if they lost track of their education, especially after high school attaining the age of 18 years. Women are treated as powerless and are not allowed to make decisions regarding their lives. There are huge gender inequalities as only men are allowed to make decisions. In the education sector, women are not allowed to advance is restricted to the traditional responsibility of taking care of the family. They are even paid stipends so that they can maintain the status quo; that makes men continue being the decision-makers in the family and the society at large.
As a girl, I encountered these challenges even facing the danger of dropping out of school. However, I remained focused and believed that I would prosper regardless of the difficulties that I was going through. While in Qatar, I tried to recover from the educational lapse that I suffered after I left my former school in Somalia. I was a good performer back in Somalia, and I was determined to maintain the same results here in Qatar. Regardless of the financial difficulties, my parents struggled a lot to pay my school fees and encouraged me to remain focused. I swore never to disappoint them or let my dreams go, so I pushed on and remained determined to achieve my goals. I did not give up on my career goal of pursuing Human-Centered Design and Engineering. I am inspired by the relationship that humans have with technology, and I do not wish to abandon my dream career.
Due to the deteriorating conditions in Qatar, my father suggested that we relocate to the United States where he found a job. Moving to the US became a turning point in my life. Life in the United States seems very different from the one I had since I was born. People here are friendly and do not treat foreigners as outcasts like in Qatar. This country offered me an environment where I can re-evaluate my life and start working towards my goals. I will use the studying privilege given to women in the U.S to become an expert in Human-Centered Design and Engineering. Unlike in Somalia or Qatar, where women are only allowed to take courses related to healthcare, namely nursing, I can proudly choose what I want to study and meet my career goals. As a girl, I have the opportunity to study and advance in my career at the same time maintaining my culture of being a housewife.
The Concluding Paragraph
I believe that the University of Washington is the best school that will help me attain success. It is an internationally recognized University that is known for helping many students achieve their goals. It has incomparable resources that make it better than other universities in the area. The friendly atmosphere in the University offers students a good environment for studying that enables them to perform exemplary. Moreover, according to the existing information, a spirit of friendliness propagated among the students, and the teachers do not discriminate against non-citizens. I have missed meeting friendly people in my entire life because I am used to being in countries where non-citizens are not welcomed. Also, the University of Washington will offer me an opportunity to work in competitive organizations all over the world. When given the chance, I will work tirelessly to change my life and that of other people. I will go back to Somalia and help in policy change by introducing technologies to women as in the developed countries like America; I hope this will have a positive impact on society.
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