This is what makes America great

Abdul Rahman Alhawsali

When I first came to visit the United States, I spent a whole month vacillating through what is known as a cultural shock, since I came as a Fulbright participant from Yemen. Yes! I came here expecting to see a different culture, but I wasn’t sure of the real nature of those differences. However, what I have seen astonished me and triggered the phrase,“this is why America is great!” to come out of my mouth. It is not the politics that make it great, since I come from the Middle East, but it is everything! Just everything!!!

A couple weeks ago, I was invited by the very talented literature professor, Mr. Edward Bradly, to a Jazz festival, an event that I would refuse without even thinking. I decided to go over my rejection and say “yes,” not to jazz in specifically, but “yes” to America. I got to see the blues music that touches people’s souls, the gatherings that brings memories and enhances passion and desire to live and the simplicity that encapsulates people’s behavior. Everything there, as I said, was a sign for the glamorous and shining stars in “our” southern American sky. America’s generosity was also a part of that everything.

This everything is also in the depth of the history, in which we see America’s great founders establishing true democracy that not many young Americans appreciate. I can see Mr. Nvotsky, with his passionate voice describing America’s founders as legends, talking to his students with the tone of a true American veteran about struggles to have a prosperous and free nation that accepts and welcomes all nations and cultures. Patriotism and education is a part of everything.

If I just give myself a chance to write, I would never stop. This is how we are raised in our Arabic Yemeni culture, to thankfully praise our hosts and wish them a more prosperous future. This is also the scope of being great in everything.

Abdul Rahman Alhawsali

Fulbright Participant

TA in the Foreign Language Department