Little child holding sparkle in evening light, swing with women sitting down in the background

Two Countries. Two Cultures. One Girl.

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By Layla Saad

I was born in Michigan.

My parents were born in Lebanon.

Being born and raised in Rochester Hills, I experienced American culture to its fullest. At home, I was immersed in Lebanese culture. I loved that too. I’ve experienced emotions ranging from love for my parents’ home country to hatred that I wasn’t more American. Growing up, I brought foods to lunch that kids would laugh at, I wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers, and I spoke Arabic at home. I resented my parents for making me spend summers in Lebanon.

Poster of text story; image at the top is child with sparkle in evening.But I was young.

Now, there is nothing in the world I am more proud of. I’ve experienced stereotypes. I’ve had assumptions made about my religion, my home life, and my values. Now, no more silence. I’m proud to use my voice to support diversity on campus and in my community. I found my place.

Now, I want to tell younger first generation kids they’re perfect just the way they are.

To learn more about the Lebanese community and college students like me, visit mylcn.org.

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