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Being a Muslim; Common App/ Personal, local, international concern


mgabir 6 / 2 1  
Dec 26, 2012   #1
Question 1: Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

Imagine, at the age of seven, sitting in the backseat when a car veers up next to yours and corners you into a side street. Sitting rigid with fear, the driver looks disapprovingly at your father, who struggles to keep a brave smile. After what seems like an eternity, the driver says,

"Do you know why there are no K-Marts in Iraq? It's because they only have Targets."
I did not understand at the time why someone hated my family just because we were Muslim. I knew that my family worked just as hard as other Americans did, yet we were still victimized. At first, I tried to run away from my "negative" image, but I learned that my personal image defines who I am. I am an American who volunteers his time to sort medical supplies to be shipped to Puerto Rico. I am an American who worked long into the night in order to excel at my studies. I am a friend that my siblings look up to when they need help with their homework. My character is defined by what I do, not by others' judgments.

My parents emigrated from war-torn Sudan twenty years ago. They had to build their lives from scratch in a country where many people did not understand or seem to want them. My father would sit in his taxi studying Oracle textbooks in the hopes of someday finding a job as a software developer. His hard work and determination earned him a spot at a food service company as a Data-Analyst Administrator.

When I look at my parents, I can only see the determination in their eyes to live out the American Dream. Working from seven a.m. to seven p.m., five days a week, and being on-call, my dad often had to sacrifice his time at home in order to provide for his family. By watching my parents, I learned that I can make a name for myself if I put the effort into it.

Throughout my high school career, I have tried to embody perseverance by becoming the best student that I can be. I joined multiple clubs in order to expand my horizons, and to soak up as much knowledge as I could. In spite of my hectic extracurricular schedule, my hunger for knowledge inside the classroom is not sated. In a way, discrimination has fueled my passion.

I believe that there is more to a person than what they appear to be on the surface. My parents came to America in order to be judged for their actions and not what religion they practice. It is my vision to grow up in a society where everyone follows through with this sacred canon. Even though the road ahead is difficult, it is up to me to make the best out of it. My life has been tainted with many forms of prejudice, but the will to prove that I am not the stereotype seen by outsiders keeps me going.

Question 2: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (1000 character maximum).

I was the first non-medical student to shadow at my local immunology clinic with the intent of understanding the health care industry. I felt truly blessed because no other students would have this opportunity until they were in medical school. I worked intimately with patients who gave me some understanding of what it truly takes to be a physician. In the research lab, I studied pollen slides obtained from a collector located on the roof. I also catalogued medications for the Champ Camp, a week long summer camp that educates young children about how to manage their asthma. I felt immense responsibility; doctors and nurses depended on me. For one week, I went to the administrative office and learned about the company infrastructure from the ground up. I spoke to staff members ranging from the Chief Operating Officer to the Director of Clinical Operations. The internship allowed me to see the inner workings of the health care field and how each component is essential to the whole.

Any feed back including grammar, structure, and flow is appreciate! :)
MNJ - / 7  
Dec 26, 2012   #2
Imagine yourself, at the age of seven, sitting in the backseat when a car veers up and corners yours into a side street. Sitting rigid with fear, the driver looks disapprovingly at your father, who struggles to keep a brave smile. After what seems like an eternity, the driver says, "Do you know why there are no K-Marts in Iraq? It's because they only have Targets."

I did not understand at the time why people hated my family just because we were Muslim. I knew that my family worked just as hard as other Americans did, yet we were still victimized. At first, I tried to run away from my "negative" image, but I learned that my personal image (this word is repeated) defines who I am. I am an American who volunteers his time to sort medical supplies to be shipped to Puerto Rico. I am an American who works long into the night in order to excel at my studies. I am a friend that my siblings look up to when they need help with their homework. My character is defined by what I do, not by what others think of me (or something of that sort; since you use "what I do", you should say "not by what ..." to keep the sentence parallel.).

My parents emigrated from the war-torn Sudan twenty years ago. They had to rebuildtheir lives from scratch in a country where many people did not understand or seem to want them. My father would sit in his taxi studying Oracle textbooks in the hopes of finding work as a software developer someday. His hard work and determination earned him a jobas Data-Analyst Administrator at a food service company.

When I look at my parents, I can only see the determination in their eyes to live out the American Dream. Working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., five days a week, and being on-call, my dad often had to sacrifice his time at home in order to provide for his family. By watching my parents, I learned that I can make a name for myself if I put the effort into it.

Throughout my high school career, I have tried to embody perseverance by becoming the best student that I can be. I joined multiple clubs in order to expand my horizons, and to soak up as much knowledge as I could. In spite of my hectic extracurricular schedule, my hunger for knowledge inside the classroom is not sated. In a way, discrimination has fueled my passion. (How has discrimination fueled your passion? What motivated you exactly?)

I believe that there is more to a person than what they appear to be on the surface. My parents came to America in order to be judged for their actions and not by their religion [parallelism, remember?]. It is my vision to grow up in a society where everyone follows through with this sacred canon. Even though the road ahead is difficult, it is up to me to make the best out of it. My life has been tainted with many forms of prejudice, but the will to prove that I am not the stereotype seen by outsiders keeps me going.

This is a beautiful essay. Being Muslim myself (I'm Pakistani), I can very well imagine what you've gone through. Let's stay strong, yes? :)

I've pointed out the grammatical mistakes, but I really find no real fault with this essay. It's unique, it's sincere and it's moving. You will definitely stand out. Good luck!

Would you please look over my NYU supplement essay? But I request, not demand :3 Only if you'd like! Thank you!
chewbaccablack 6 / 18 3  
Dec 31, 2012   #3
Both are really well written.

However for the first essay, you shoudl try to reveal about what you learned from the discrimination.


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