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I’m a Harvard Student. But I’m No Better than Any of You

“I’m a Harvard student, but I’m no better than any of you”. This is how a young Egyptian woman begins the Facebook message that inspired over 3,000 young men and women who shared and liked it in the past week. Sahar Albazar’s post, which we share below, is an incredibly motivational recount of her multiple attempts to pursue her studies and build a career.

My profile is almost similar to all Egyptian youth. I got my Thanawya Amma, then graduated from Ain Shams. Six years ago I decided to change the world. In order to do so I had to start with myself. I knew I need to invest in my brain; “knowledge and education”. I started to apply for my Mmasters in different schools in US and Europe. For four consecutive years never once was I rejected! I just couldn’t fund it. Every year I negotiate with these schools and I get 50%-60% of my tuition fees waived. Still, I couldn’t fund the remaining 50%-40% plus living expenses. Four years, same scenario: I apply, I get accepted, I negotiate, I don’t find funds. I think at that time it was legit to say: ‘مش مكتوبلك الجوازه يا بولين'”.

“People who know me well know that I don’t give up! So I raised the bar: I applied to Harvard and the MOF fellowship in my fifth year. And guess what: I got rejected!”

“Now, do you think that would stop me? Do you think I take no for an answer? Well, think again. I consulted two of Harvard alumni, I got an English professor to edit my essays and I strategized my recommenders. [On] December 2013 I pressed the submit button for the second time: three months later I got my acceptance letter”.

“Yes, I got in. Yes, I made it Alhamdu lellAh. I wouldn’t ask for a better reward for the six years [of] persistence! I guess what I’m trying to say here is: dreams are not meant to be clouds in the sky. Dreams are meant to be a living reality. I’m living my dream, now it’s YOUR turn!”

For more information: See the original post here.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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