My Life at SU

My name is Mohammad Ashkar and lately I’ve been struggling here at Syracuse University. I feel like everything is just hitting all at once—essays, projects, readings, homework, worksheets—and it never ends. I guess my problem is not finding the time to do all of that, but to take moment to sit down and just reflect for a few minutes on where I am and where I’m going. Yes, I plan to go to medical school but that’s not what I mean. Where am I in my life? Am I maturing and becoming more respectable or taking a turn down the wrong road? This time to evaluate current position in life is crucial to what is going to separate me from all the phonies out there. I need this time to recoup my thoughts and feeling about what’s important to me and really try to let that show in my everyday life.

My Arab background really says a lot about me. It tells people what I like, how I will act, and what will make me act a particular way. Being an Arab is not easy. I need to represent the rest of my nationality to my fellow Muslims, while at the same time representing my Islamic way of life to the rest of the world. This is very important, that is, how we portray ourselves to others. We must show who we are through how we act, eat, play, argue, discuss, and even relax. Everything we do is evaluated every day, we must understand that this is how people with define Islam if we don’t show them what it really is. Islam is being quiet and respectful in the library while not wasting any time when something needs to be done. We must show the world what Islam is really all about.

Recently, an incident has occurred where three Muslims were killed in their home just off campus. This should not be something we can weep over for a day or two and then forget it ever happened. This incident should encourage us to really pick up Islam off the ground and let it fly. This Syrian dental organization founded by one of the victim’s in this tragic shooting should be duplicated and replicated because Islam is helping other, even if you can’t help yourself.

I guess my life here at Syracuse University recently has been kind of hectic. I have a lot of work to do, but the real challenge is finding time for that after you’ve fulfilled your obligation to Allah (SWT). We must never forget our purpose and we must always see through our goals and priorities by starting with the small things. So, start by opening the door for someone behind you. Start by lowering your voice when on the phone. Start by revealing to the world that Islam is love for everyone, not just Arabs.

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