As I went about my routine everyday life as a fifteen year old in Saudi Arabia, there was one dream which I held safely in my heart like a box of treasure: ‘One day, I will travel to America to study in the field of medicine.’ Of course, I…
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He looked upon the restrictions imposed on me only as the expression of his great love for me. He lived in a world which believes that the only role of a woman is to keep the family together. I was aware that, to him, sending me to study in America would be equal to sending me to walk on the moon. But I was determined to follow my heart. After all, I have heard the Chinese proverb, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’
The first step of my long journey was to get my father’s consent. My family tried to persuade me to change my mind. But I was a rock which let the waves of their arguments just wash over me. My reply to every objection was, “If you love me, let me go.” Finally, my father agreed to give me the freedom to pursue my dream. But I now faced a bigger hurdle: My father could not afford the financial costs of my studies. My application for a scholarship was turned down because I did not have the necessary background in Science. My disappointment ate into my heart like acid. I thought, ‘Maybe I should accept what cannot be changed.’ Then, my love for the field of medicine made me work as a call center representative and as a translator at hospitals, just so I could be a part of the world of doctors and nurses. Although my dream of wearing scrubs seemed to be far beyond my reach, I absorbed medical information. I became a part of the hospital community, which was a family to me. I accepted that my dream would always remain a dream, locked in its box. I was content to live in the hospital world.
Then one calm, sunny day, a storm rushed through my life, cleared away all the doubts in my mind, and opened my eyes again. My best friend, Name, showed a flushed face, heavy sweating and sudden tremors. But she said, “Don’t worry, Daliya. I’m fine.” As we worked in the office, my calm and patient friend screamed, and knocked everything on her table to the ground. Obviously, she was ill. Name
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