Our profile this week is Mahra, a student in Year 10. Below Mahra gives us an introduction to herself and her passion for English:
During my eight years at BIS Abu Dhabi, I’ve delved into many fields. I’ve tried my luck with Mathematics and the Sciences, but only really enjoyed the latter. I’ve tried my luck with languages like French and Korean - both are difficult, but my understanding of Arabic is making the journey somewhat easier. I’ve also tried my luck with crochet and origami- both were surprisingly tedious but satisfying in the end. But one subject that I have consistently enjoyed, year after year, regardless of all the different fields I’ve explored... is English.
I love writing. I love that we could transfer everything in our minds and simply covert those thoughts into words. Forgive me for calling my love for writing an unhealthy obsession, but there is no other definition for it. I never really understood why, the irony being that it is my second language. However, after a little thought I can pinpoint some sort of justification. Ever since my early days, I’ve always been timid and distant, this meant that I rarely gave myself a chance to speak and voice an opinion. Instead I would shield myself from conversations with books - lots of books. I would write down what I felt rather than saying it out loud. For this particular reason I’ve always had a knack for creative writing, for story telling. I would pour all of the unspoken words in my heart and covert them into characters and plot lines, while changing just enough to make it seem complete fiction.
My trip to Tanzania will always be something I will always be grateful to have taken part in. There are little to no words to describe how much that trip changed my view on life. By participating in the Tanzania Service trip last December, I not only managed to test myself with the challenges that came ahead, I was also able to break a common stereotype. As an Emirati girl, traveling abroad on my own is not something that happens frequently. In doing so, I managed to inspire other girls like me to pursue their desires regardless of discouragement and fear, that was by far the largest accomplishment I had made without even having gone on the trip yet.
Tanzania had a lot to offer. With its breathtaking views and vibrant landscapes, with its lush vegetation and wildlife. I made a number of friends just in the first few days of my stay, whilst building a goat shed for a family of four and installing solar lights in their home. The children would crowd around whilst we worked, asking us to dance and play with them, but even under the scorching heat, we managed to power through just knowing the impact we would be making on these very same children’s lives. I learned new phrases in Swahili, which I came to realise was somewhat similar to Arabic and so managed to understand a few words when I would speak with locals. I learned how to properly use a saw without hurting myself, and how to make cement out of rocks, water and cement powder. I even surprised myself by trekking through uneven land and near narrow cliff edges. With the physical feats aside, I learned important skills like communicating under stressful circumstances and taking in information having only heard it once.
It’s trips like these that really turn a person into a human being. Witnessing Tanzania’s hard-working locals and witnessing their smiley expressions and laughter was nothing short of a self note to always be grateful for what I have. Tanzania ignited a newfound empathy within me that I didn’t even know had to be ignited. It’s made me realise the paradise my circumstance may be for someone else, and how I must never take it for granted. There are so many reasons to be grateful for, and that trip helped remind me once again what those things were. And for that I will always be grateful.
My time here at BIS Abu Dhabi has come to show me just exactly what I am capable of.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking that it is stupid.”
That quote has always stuck with me, ever since I learned that I might be good at something, ever since I came to realise that perhaps I could make a dent in this world. Maybe writing up chemical formulas might not be my thing, but my talents lay elsewhere, I didn’t know that when I was younger, but I know that now. That has to mean something, right? We can all contribute in some way, that’s something we should always remind ourselves, especially when we’re young.
We’re all good at something, English taught me that. We can all make a difference, my trip to Tanzania taught me that, and we all have something to offer, BIS Abu Dhabi taught me that.
Mahra, Year 10