Episode Three: the Advice that People Never Forget: Random People in Kuwait

Life & Business
 Min read
October 5, 2021
 Photo Credits: 
Brett Jordan
I want people to appreciate me for who I am.

Rawan Salman is a teacher of mathematics who graduated from Carleton University, Canada, with a Bachelor's in Communications Engineering. However, she found herself in education and is now completing a second Bachelor's in Teaching Education from the University of Ottawa while working at a private school in Kuwait.

Rawan remembers a time when she taught a failing student in Canada. She worked hard with the student who turned his failing grade to A during the course. The student's words and gratitude to her after the semester were remarkable in her life and one of the triggers to the shift she made. "The way that teaching made me feel pushed me for pursuing a career in education," she says.

Rawan was born to a supporting Palestinian father and a loving Kuwaiti mother. She had a multicultural upbringing coming from two different cultures and living in Canada, a foreign country when she was thirteen years old. Then, she returned to Kuwait after almost a decade of independence, self-growth, and sailing through the challenges of life. Although her parents regret their decision, Rawan is "forever thankful to them. That changed everything for us. It changed the way we look at things, the way we do things, and our perspective. I saw the difference between myself, cousins, and the people around me," she says.

Rawan's diverse background allowed her to accept people from different cultures and nationalities, a struggle in Kuwait. Although she had roots in it, she could not fit in her birthplace. The biggest challenge was "getting accepted by the environment," she says. In Kuwait, she saw people avoiding others or judging them for their nationalities. "I am open to other cultures, ethnicities, and to learn anything. I appreciate the diversity," she says. "In here, people, including family, have one way of looking at things. It is one way of experiencing stuff, a unified one," she adds. 

Rawan fueled her craving to improve and become a better version of herself by people's judgment of her multicultural identity, the struggle to fit in her surroundings, and her experiences. She always wanted to be judged for herself, what she does, and how she behaves. "I want people to appreciate me for who I am," she says. But that only comes with hard work, as she believes.

That belief heavily influenced Rawan's advice. "Never stop dreaming, never stop growing," she advises. Rawan wants to be competitive globally, buy a house in Canada to secure the family, and go back there where she had found herself and felt the belonging. She believes that whatever she wants to accomplish is possible. That allows her to get judged for who she is and nothing else.

Rawan deals with continuous pressure daily, and that keeps reminding her of those words. She works as a teacher during the day and studies remotely during the night under two different time zones. Every time she gets very stressed, "I say to myself, look at the ending, the light at the end of the tunnel," she says. "I feel better when I remember my goals and where I want to reach," Rawan adds.

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