People often overlook how the most distant events can impact our day to day lifestyles.
As the saying goes, you must play with the hand you are dealt, and I have come to find that
accepting and making the best out of these cards is the only way to progress and pursue inner
happiness. Throughout my life, I have had a relatively comfortable living due to the hard-work
and dedication of my parents, which allowed us to live happily. The majority of my high school
career entailed caring about popular culture, social acceptance, and disregard of the injustices
that are occurring beyond our borders. However, upon my junior year of high school, little did I
know my life would be altered in a 180 degree shift. Being the daughter of first generation
immigrants from Egypt, majority of my friends and relatives remained overseas, given the
evident difficulty to uproot and establish a new life in a different country. In 2011, the
aforementioned carefree lifestyle changed entirely, as the onset of the Egyptian revolution
exposed me to a variety of difficult and unfortunate truths that disrupted my way of life. As the
bloody conflicts continued, I often my found both my parents engulfed in the television, yearning
for any ounce of information which may give them insight into the situation of their friends and
family. Although this extensive concern regarding their homeland did not resonate with me until
later, one fateful event caused a change in both overall mindset, and educational desires.
It was a Saturday morning, and like any high school student I was enjoying it by sleeping
in beyond my usual alarm time. All of a sudden, I am awakened from my slumber to the sounds
of a terrible shrieking, which I immediately identified as being my mother. Thinking that she was
in danger, I sprang up and hurriedly ran to the kitchen to see what the issue was. Upon entering,
I found my mother sobbing behind her laptop screen, and my father with a devastated look of
which I had never seen on his face before. As I made my way to the computer, I found that an
email was open and prominent on the screen. Written in Arabic, the email had been sent from
one of my cousins in Egypt, it stated that my uncle, my mother’s brother, had been taken by
governmental forces a week prior and that their family had just received news of his execution.
Initially, the shocking news took time to settle in, as I was unable to comprehend that reality of
what had just been revealed. Throughout that first week, I witnessed immense sorrow and grief
from my mother, as her devastation was blatantly evident and could not be hidden. Despite the
fact that I understood such occurrences were a part of life, I could not help but think that there
was an underlying issue here that bothered me beyond just basic grief. The Egyptian people
were rising up from political and societal persecution. My uncle voiced his opinion and stood
strong by his morals and what he believed in, regardless of the consequences he knew it may,
and ultimately did, result in. This event, more so than any other, impacted my overarching
mindsets and provided insight into the truths which I had previously been blinded to. This event,
altered my educational motivations and prompted a far greater understanding of how I want to
live my life.
In overcoming and coping with this horrific situation, I found myself more engaged and
aware of my worldly surroundings and the social injustices that are all too prevalent in the global
world today. Whereas previously my career choices and motives were questioned by
indecisiveness and carelessness, this event solidified and catapulted my passion towards how
best I could lead a meaningful and happy life. In doing so, I decided to be a force for change in
this contemporary era, and put the entirety of my efforts towards improving living standards and
mitigating oppressive abuses. Realizing the extent to which human rights was a spark in the
Egyptian revolution, I decided to dedicate my life to making right these immoral wrongdoings.
The execution of my uncle allowed me to expand my levels of awareness, and understand that
there are greater concerns in this world than my meaningless materialistic self-interests. It
taught me the truth behind what it means to have proper values and ethical reasoning. My uncle
was killed due to his reluctance to stand down from these morals and ethics. I, for one, am
reluctant to standing by while these egregious abuses and social injustices ensue.