Merna Habib: A Return to Her Roots
By: K.Christopher Hoffman
We all have our own culture and way of life. In fact, being a student at Knightdale High School is something we all can share. One of our fellow peers, Merna Habib, a sophomore at KHS, is part of a culture that is uniquely hers.
Habib was born in Alexandria, Egypt amongst a plethora of economic and social hardships in the region. The non stop fighting and violence that has plagued the bustling middle eastern city may be well known to most here in the states, but few take the time to realize the struggle that can accompany living in such conditions. “It’s not that much different here”, said Habib when asked about the differences between her home in the states and her home in Alexandria. The rural Knightdale landscape is much more quiet than the ever changing and vast city of Alexandria. While most students here at Knightdale are content with taking the bus to school, Habib has fond memories of her walks to school through the ever crowded streets of a sun drenched city. During her daily walk to school, the economic struggles of a developing country could be seen through the burnt houses and churches. In a region where the fighting almost never ceases, Habib remained open minded and accepting of the culture of others. WHile the extremist Muslim Brotherhood went about spreading their word through violence, Habib was happy to spend time with her muslim friends.
Nine months ago Habib and her family moved to the United States. Not knowing any English, Habib was expectantly overwhelmed by her new life in the states. She overcame that quickly as Habib began to grasp the English language and can now speak fluently. That shows a lot about the character and dedication of the charismatic young lady.
After graduating with the class of 2016, Habib plans to go to one of the most prestigious universities in North Carolina: UNC Chapel Hill or Duke. Both universities seem fitting for Habib as she plans for a career in medicine. Though Habib is one of the many happy students here at KHS, she often misses her home in Egypt. With most of her family back in Alexandria, Habib spends her days thinking fondly of them. She worries not so much for their safety as she misses their company. The mysticism, intrigue and beauty of ancient Egypt may have died out long ago, but apparently not, as Habib is frequently asked about the pyramids. Yes, she has been there for those of you who may be wondering.
Though the luster and novelty of life here in the states may be wearing off, Habib is a shining example of what hard work and a good outlook on life can achieve. Her family oriented background and culture is unwavering like her spirit. We should be proud to not only consider her one of our own at KHS, but through her actions and experiences, a fellow American as well.