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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Meeting Majd During the IELTs | August 20, 2016

I am going to put this in my display for the library:

Surprisingly, the morning was beautiful. I was expecting more humidity on the morning of Saturday, August 20; however, I was glad that the weather was nice. Dad and I left the house at 5 AM so I could make it to Drexel University by 7 AM for the International English Language Test (IELTs). The IELTS is an English language proficiency test and is needed to either immigrate to the UK, Canada, or Australia or an academic IELTS is needed to go to university in the UK, Canada, or Australia.  I signed up for the general examination for immigration.

As I was waiting for the exam to start, I started talking to a Lebanese young woman that was signed up to take the exam. We also chatted with a young woman from Saudi Arabia that was signed up for the academic IELTs. Before we took our tests, I invited both women to have lunch with me. The Saudi woman declined, she was meeting her husband—it would be me and the Lebanese young woman, who introduced herself as Majd.

After the three-hour listening, reading, and writing tests were completed, we had a break before our oral exams. I saw Majd, asked her how she thought she did, and we walked over the Shake Shack to have lunch. This was Majd’s first time eating at the Shake Shack since she was in the US for a few weeks before heading back to Lebanon. My oral exam wasn’t scheduled until 3:45, her exam at 4. After lunch we walked around the city; I helped her with her English; she helped me with my Arabic. I asked her why she wanted to move to Australia and she was telling me since the war in Syria, Lebanon’s food supply has been cut drastically. Lebanon is also helping the Syrians that are fleeing, and it is economically scary in Lebanon. She has better opportunities in Australia and wants to be with her other family members that had left their region in Lebanon. We exchanged e-mail addresses and it felt great to make a new friend.

I almost want to include these pictures. These are the pictures I took during our lunch and when we were walking around Philadelphia.

Probably not, though. I am including some from Greenville (2009), Canada (last year), New York City (2011 and 2015), and want to include some of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2007). Also the postcards I have from friends. I have a lot of memories and sadly, they won't all fit inside the display case. I'm looking forward to May, though.

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