Nour AlHaffar, Class of 2019
What are your best memories about being born and raised in Syria?
My best memories are those of my school and field trips. What stands out more than anything is the Fridays (family day) we used to spend at different places and different restaurants.
What do you miss the most?
Of course I miss my family and friends more than anything. I miss the streets, the food, the smell of jasmine, my school and teachers, everything.
What about Syrian culture makes you most proud?
The music and the poetry. The food is spectacular as well.
Why did you choose to come to the US to study?
My brother came here through a friend, and after the circumstances in Syria turned from bad to worse I had to make the better decision for my future.
What challenges did you face while traveling here?
It was mostly technical stuff like booking an appointment with the American embassy and getting the visa. The 32-hour flight was also a challenge.
What were your preconceived notions about Americans before you came here and how have they changed?
Mostly that they were cold hearted, but then I realized they’re some of the warmest people I know.
How does it feel to be a Syrian student at UE in 2016?
It feels great. The amount of support we, as Syrian students, get is like no other. It also motivates me to do the best I can not to disappoint anyone.
Have you experienced any positive or negative feedback here on campus or in Evansville?
I haven’t experienced any negative feedback.
What are the scariest, greatest, and most difficult things about living in the U.S.?
The scariest part is the culture shock you experience since there’s a huge difference between life here and in Syria. The greatest part is that I got to experience a new kind of independence and responsibility.
Can you tell us about a life changing experience that happened to you in the U.S.?
I haven’t been here long enough to go through a life changing experience yet.
Does your family still live in Syria? If they could speak in this forum, what would they say to us?
Yes, they still live in Syria. They would tell you that Syria under the worst circumstances is still heaven on earth.
In your opinion, what is the solution to the current political crisis and where do you see Syria ten years from now?
I see no solution but forgiveness on both sides since a lot of blood has been shed throughout the past five years. Hopefully in ten years I’ll see Syria better than ever with the conflict over and with all the Syrians back where they belong.
Under what circumstances would you go back?
I would go back under any circumstances. It is my hometown and I must stick with it through the bad and the good.
What else do you want us to know about Syria, and about you?
Syria is a country of love, peace, integrity, and generosity.