Deema is originally from Syria but was born and raised in Dubai. After applying to some Universities in Dubai and looking for her independence, she also applied to some Universities in the U.S. Then, she was admitted at University of Rochester in fall 2015. Regardless of the financial aid and a full tutoring scholarship that she received, she decided to come here for a bigger reason.“In my home country, the resources as a student are very limited but here I have a voice and the power to do something, students are pushed to be leaders” Deema said.
When she first came to the United States, she did not experiment a big shock because she saw that the environment was friendly and perceived enthusiasm in people to learn more about her. She even felt like a celebrity because many people at U of R were very interested in learning more about international students and their cultures. Months later, she got involved in college organizations such as: Students Association for the Development of Arabic Culture Awareness and even co-founded a non-profit organization called: Education for a Peaceful Syria which raises funds to help high school students apply to colleges in the U.S and all over the world while providing financial support , supplies and organizing extra-curricular activities.
Deema also shares her opinion about the controversial situation that is currently happening in our country, that bans travel into the United States for citizens from seven middle eastern countries. “It is just unfair that even smart students, successful professionals are being affected and are not allow to finish their education or follow their dreams” she said. This situation made her realize there is a bigger number of people that supports her and her community. “They send me lovely messages encouraging me and telling me that I am not alone in this situation”.
But, what is going to happen after school? Will she be able to keep pursuing her goals in America, the land of opportunities? She does not let this situation worry her too much and is thinking about going to Law School in the near future. Deema keeps encouraging students to come here. “Being away from your family can be hard but no matter how hard it could be, is really worth it”. She suggests students to not let this situation stop them and to keep fighting for their dreams.