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  • Maria Samuel

Growing up Egyptian

Updated: Jun 14

I was born in Egypt and and my family immigrated to the United States when I was at a young age. As with any new experience, I grew up learning to adapt to a new culture, while never abandoning my own beliefs, traditions and morals. My parents instilled in me the importance of faith, Orthodoxy and steadfastness to my own moral compass. So, when I was confronted with many social conundrums (youth engaging in sexual immorality, drugs, nightclubbing, and engaging in other means of entertainment that I did not quite feel comfortable with), I learned how to decipher what is right and wrong for me. I have been blessed with the ability to sense and perceive discomfort in my core and have always trusted this gut instinct. As I grew older, I realized that this "gut instinct" has always been God's grace guiding me and protecting me. I am not one of those individuals who is always in Church on Sundays or who served persistently in Sunday School. While I had a desire for this service, I always felt a sense of connection with Christ independently of these activities. When I faced hardship, I knew it was a test of my character and my faith and always aspired to better myself in that regard. Christ has become a friend to me, especially during my times of loneliness and aloneness when there was no one to listen to me, to hear me, to advise me. I cried out to Him and while many times, He remained silent, I knew deep within me He was comforting me. I am grateful for my parents for instilling this dependency on Christ in me. Would it have been easier to engage in social immorality and "blend" in with the new culture surrounding me? Of course! But, I knew I am meant for something greater than that. Because of this, I channeled my energy into things that brought me peace. I focused on my passion for the pursuit of medicine, serving others (especially in college with mentoring and tutoring youth and involvement in Habitat for Humanity). These activities are what truly granted me a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, and peace that transcends all understanding.

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