After the Egyptian victory over the Israel armed forces in 1973, Egypt did not have any major events after that year except declaring complete independence from the Israeli State in 1989 (Tira, 2010). The complete dependence happened after seizing the last piece of the Egyptian land which is called Taba. By adding Taba to Egyptian lands, Egypt would have 100% independence rather than just 99%. After the death of the charismatic and legendary leader Sadat, Egypt had a new president called Hosni Mubarak. Hosni was one of the leaders of the air force in the war of 1973. Sadat, the former president, was impressed by Mubarak’s performance in the war as well as his personality and the way he dealt with sensitive issue in his field. As a result, he chose Mubarak as his vice president. Sadat attended an army show in memory of the heroic war against Israel. During that show, which was supposed to be free from any active weapon or anything that could threaten the audience in any way, there was a conspiracy made by the Muslim Brotherhood to kill President Sadat. During the show, one of the performers jumped from the army car and pulled out his weapon and shot the president in his upper left chest to kill him. Since the vice president was the Air Chief Hosni Mubarak, he had the right to take over the presidency according to the then Egyptian law (Tira, 2010).
Egypt, Soha’s country, was somewhat stable after the year 1973 except for the death of President Sadat on October 6, 1981. This changed the mood in the country. However, the incident was not comparable to the invasion of the country by foreign states. It caused a small level of instability as Soha captured a perfect metaphor comparing the incident of the death of the president to the wars the country had experienced. She said, “If all the problems, wars, and financial difficulties are like an ocean, then the death of President Sadat was like a drop of water in that ocean”. Egypt had a lot of misfortunes in the 20th century. This is in fact evident from the colors of Egyptian flags. The flag has white color representing peace and red for the blood that soldiers shed during the wars. Black color symbolizes sadness and darkness of the many years of colonialism by the British that lasted more than seventy years.
By 1973, Soha was a fourteen year-old girl who still lived in Alexandria Egypt. She was then in the third preparatory grade which is equivalent to the ninth grade in the United States. Education was still difficult to complete in Egypt. In the ninth grade, sessions that Soha had to attend after school were increasing. These sessions were not offered to students for free. Soha’s family did everything they could to raise the money required. Soha said, “Without these courses, it is impossible for one to succeed”. The courses were too hard to study. Generally, school kept on getting harder and harder. This was why graduating from high school was not only costly and expensive, but also very hard. Not everyone would graduate from a high school due to such factors as the social class. This implied that if someone was poor, he or she would not afford the courses. Even if he or she did afford, it required a lot of hard work and determination to excel.
Soha totally understood her family’s sacrifice and dedication including reducing leisure, so that she could complete her courses. She worked hard and excelled in her studies. This was attributed to her positive response to homework and every assignment given to her. She got high scores in almost all her courses. She described her efforts by saying, “Education for me was like air and water; I promised myself that as long as I was alive, I would learn more and more. I would excel in my studies and continue to pursue further studies”. Soha finished her 10th grade when she was fifteen years old. High school in Egypt consists of the 11th and 12th grade. These two grades determine the final score that enables students to join their college of choice. Soha promised herself again that she would work hard in the 11th grade, so that she emerges as the best student. This would definitely open up a variety of colleges to join. This is a clear indication of a passionate woman. Despite many challenges that she faced throughout her childhood because of the unstable society, she still excelled in the high school. She made her parents very happy and proud of her. She says:
My dad and mom were very proud of me. They met me in front of the school after I received my results and hugged me. Out of joy, they carried me high in the air and bought me beautiful expensive gifts in spite of them needing the money.
Soha made her life happy and successful because she was dedicated and hardworking.
Soha led a difficult life in the high school due to the huge work load in academics. However, she succeeded and emerged as one of the best students in her school which was situated in Alexandria City. She attracted many colleges in Egypt including two most prestigious universities, Alexandria University and Cairo University. She decided to join Alexandria University because it was nearer to her home, and actually her family could not afford accommodation in Cairo University despite the free tuition in all colleges in Egypt.
She had a pretty good life at Alexandria University. She graduated with honors in the Bachelor of Arts, philosophy. After college, she thought about post graduate studies and decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Media and Mass Communication. Soha completed her Master’s Degree at the age of 24. She began her professional life right after completing her Master’s Degree. She worked as a reporter at the newspaper called Al-Ahram. This newspaper was one of the most prominent newspapers in Egypt at that time. She did well in her career as well. Her main area of interest as a journalist was politics and different issues that happened in Egypt at that time. She was 25 by the time she began her career. Soha was still living with her parents in Alexandria in the same house she grew up. She used to wake up early in the morning at six in preparation for the work at Al-Ahram. Because of her dedication in life, Soha used to start her work at 8.00 am and finish at around 4.00 pm. Sometimes she would extend work time to do extra writing in preparation for the next day. On the other hand, events that happened at around four could make her stay put to avoid a huge work load the following day. The newspaper building was about an hour away from her home. She had to take a bus an hour to 8 am in order to get there on time. She says, “It was pretty hard to get to my work that early in the morning”.
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Soha’s routine was pretty predictable. She would go to work in the morning, come back in the evening, rest a bit up to 5 o’clock in the evening, before hanging out with friends or watch TV. She sometimes went to practice her favorite hobby, which is sewing clothes. She says, “I knew it was a weird hobby, but I just liked it so much. Actually it was all about creativity and having fun. Sometimes it is hilarious when you mess up some good work you have done”. She is a pure person. She is educated, funny and very helpful. She described herself, “I just like helping out people whenever they need help. I feel the happiness and satisfaction in life when someone needs my help, and I offer it.”
At the age of thirty, in 1989, Soha met her former classmate Adel. Adel was an architectural engineer and had graduated from the same university as Soha did. They became friends and started dating. They ended up getting married. She says, “I was very impressed with Adel’s personality. He is smart, responsible and very confident. He was my dream man, and I wanted him to be my husband”. Soha loved Adel very much and they never wanted to leave each other.
She had many dreams in life. One of her dreams was to give birth to her children in a country that has more opportunities for success than Egypt. She always thought of getting her children in the United States of America. She discussed her dreams with her husband. Adel supported her. She got a visa to go the United States while pregnant with her first child Hesham. She went to live with her brother in the Connecticut state. She was in the American lands and ready to give birth to her first child in 1994. Hesham was born on 8th of June 1994. Soha came back after giving birth to her first child and returned to the United States of America in 1998, so she could get her second born son, Sharif. She was very happy about giving birth to her children in the United States to give them the US citizenship. She says, “I was so happy to give my kids the opportunity to live there and transform their lives to the better”. Soha was born to achieve her dreams. She lived as an achiever and she deserved the better life because she, as a person, is pure and works hard. Her love for people gives her the drive to work harder. Most importantly, she cares about her family.
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