Fatma’s Story

Fatma grew up speaking Arabic in a Sudanese home. When she was six years old, her family moved to Egypt to escape persecution. Three years they left Egypt, where they had faced racism and other hardships, and settled in the U.S. Fatma picked up English quickly and her Arabic atrophied considerably. Coming to feel she had lost part of herself, she committed to learning Arabic in college not only to reconnect with her Sudanese identity but to connect with her parents on a deeper level as well.

While preparing to study in Jordan, Fatma was afraid of how she would be treated as a Sudanese student who did not already speak Arabic, wondering if she would again experience racism. Unfortunately, she did, but she persevered, made good friends and reclaimed a good deal of proficiency in Arabic. Find out more about how she did so here.

Fatma was able to push through because she remembered that she wasn’t only learning Arabic for her, but for her parents, and for everyone she hopes to serve in the future. She is a graduate student in marriage and family therapy with the goal of helping those struggling with mental illness in their relationships with spouses and families. She hopes to use her Arabic to offer therapy to immigrant and refugee families. She uses her goals and the challenges she has faced as fuel in her continued study of Arabic. Because of her clear purpose, she pushes through any challenge put in front of her.