Hassan El-Ghit: Opportunity

Hassan came to the U.S. with his mother and his sister when he was very young. In his story he describes his experience with prejudice, racism, and struggle. Through all of this, Hassan has refused to be a victim; the fear of failure does not stop him from striving to achieve his dreams.

Blessings, Luck, Opportunity, regardless of the word you want to use everyone hopes it comes along their path in life. Some hope for bigger things, while others dream for the often overlooked minuscule things in life. As a child born in Baghdad, Iraq that had the opportunity to come to America in a time of great fear and uncertainty and grow up into who I am today I am beyond what anyone would call lucky.

When I was just two years old my father sent my mother, sister, and I to the United States during the regime of Saddam Hussein, unfortunately my parents only had enough money to get us to the United States and my father had to stay. For the next few years I would grow up as a child not knowing If I would ever see my father with my own memory. As time went by my mother worked extremely hard to adapt and overcome. Although my parents were separated by thousands of miles, war, and poverty, they stayed strong in their hope and belief that raising their children in the land of the free was the best choice.

After a period of time I was reunited with my father and my family was whole again, I had the blessing of being raised by both parents, having loving siblings, and the being raised with the mentality that hard work and faith gets you much further in life than relying on luck or playing the victim in society. I had plenty of hardships growing up but I never let it take away from my identity of being a proud Muslim American. There were plenty of instances were I was bullied in school, where I could tell I was being treated differently from my looks and financial status and so on, but for each time I was reminded that race and classism were used as a means of judging others I was also shown that not all people are like that and that not everyone viewed me by my ethnicity.

I remember my first friends, some of who were either immigrants themselves, and others who grew up their entire lives in the back country roads of Indiana. I remember the confidence and happiness I felt knowing I had others to rely on and share experiences with, and that regardless of how the rest of society saw me or my family the only thing I was to them was a friend. The more I grew up the more I realized that there are more genuine, loving human beings in this world than there are bad. Every time I encountered racism (in which there were plenty of times) I reminded myself that a reaction in anger is exactly what people like that want. It’s exactly what the media portrays everyday on television.

I came to realize how I wanted to be viewed as a person and how I wanted to view myself. I wanted people to look at me as an example that not all people from the Middle East are hateful and violent people, that the thousands of immigrants like myself weren’t corrupting American society but making it stronger and more beautiful. I also wanted to show my parents that all the struggles and hardships that they went through weren’t in vain. I got into Ball State University, I worked 30-40 hours a week while going to school to pay for my classes out of pocket so my parents and myself were burdened with the great expense of receiving a quality education.

I’m currently in my junior year of school and plan to graduate next year with a Bachelors in Logistics and Supply Chain Management in where I can pursue my dream to step foot into the automotive industry and build a career in the supply chain. To end, I could’ve had a victims mentality and blamed my struggles on everything besides myself. I could have let the fear of failure consume me, but in order to show society a new path and mentality towards immigration and different cultures, I first have to travel the path myself.

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