Please tell us what motivated you to apply to Haverford and what excites you most as you imagine your Haverford experience. Please limit your response to 150 words.

This might sound weird, but I’m applying to Haverford because it reminds me of my refugee camp. Not because it’s cramped and ageing, but because Haverford’s tight-knit community feels like home. When I started applying to colleges, I imagined studying at a Jame’a, the Arabic word for university. This translates to “the place where people congregate,” a sprawling, endless institution. At a Jame’a, I would be a tiny piece of a massive puzzle. Imagining this made me feel small and intimidated. Discovering Haverford, it felt like a great fit: a small-ish group of people, bound together by a single place, working towards the goal of self-understanding and knowledge. While there are many practical disadvantages to growing up in a refugee camp, we have created a powerful and uplifting community. Haverford shows me that I don’t have to give that up by going to college in a foreign country.

Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you think the environment at Haverford, including the framework of the Honor Code, would foster your continued intellectual growth? Please limit your response to 250 words.

Two summers ago, I learned about a paradox of culture: the more embedded in it one is, the less one recognizes its influence. My teacher in a summer English program was American and Indian. Over the duration of the course, her cultural background sparked my curiosity and I approached her with questions. She gave me generous answers, telling me about her people’s well-organized choreography and the origins of their colourful celebrations. Eventually, we spoke often about differences between our cultural practices. Importantly, she showed me my naivete by correcting my misconceptions: before our conversations, for example, I thought that there were only three religions in the world! Slowly, I began to recognize the influence of culture on my own life. The pull of history and memory guide my beliefs and actions along with my friends, families, and neighbours. At Haverford, I will be in an environment that helps me broaden my awareness of my own misconceptions, biases, and naivete. The Honor Code is rooted in independence and academic pursuit but also in the advancement of the individual student’s understanding of his relationship to the world. I’m excited for Haverford to help me push my limits further than I could push them alone, to show me who I can become. Haverford will force me to see my own prejudices and misconceptions and challenge me to hold better beliefs.