Growing up, both my parents were pharmacists and at the age of five, I started accompanying my father at his pharmacy. Witnessing the workings of the pharmacy at such a young age sparked my interest in the field and lead me to pursue a degree in pharmacology.
Back home in Lebanon we face a challenging situation with our banks. All the money that was in the banks has been taken away and the inflation has had devastating effects, leaving us with no money at all. However, despite the lack of money, the Lebanese have always found new solutions and remained resilient.
The explosion that occurred on 4th August was a significant turning point and one of the main reasons I decided to leave Lebanon. The explosion caused immense suffering for thousands of Lebanese individuals. I volunteered to help those affected and witnessed the devastating aftermath. It was an experience that left an indelible mark on me. The explosion served as a wake-up call, urging me to leave before it became too late, especially considering I had already completed a year of university studies there.
When I came to London, it was a completely different experience. The city is ten times bigger than my entire country, and I was overwhelmed by the culture shock. I wasn’t a confident English speaker and communicating with others was a struggle. I would often hesitate to speak, fearing that I might make a mistake. However, I realised that I had to overcome my fears and adapt. I started working on myself and pushing myself to be more confident.
The university course has been amazing, but I've learnt that it's not enough to just attend classes and complete assignments. To truly benefit from the opportunities available, one must actively seek out additional experiences. I got involved in projects and internships, like the placement with Siemens, where we worked on sustainability and helping businesses transition to green practices.
I'm particularly passionate about public health and my current research on antibiotic resistance in developed and developing countries. It's alarming to see how wastewater treatment plants are inefficient in eliminating antibiotics, putting people at risk without their knowledge. I feel a sense of responsibility to contribute to positive change and make a difference in communities.
Living here, far away from home, can be challenging at times, and it's natural to feel homesick. However, I've learned not to be scared and to embrace every opportunity that comes my way. I choose to focus on the positive aspects of this journey, even during the tough moments. Dwelling on the past or longing for what I left behind won't help me grow and progress in life. So, I've developed a mindset that looks for the good in every situation. I won't deny that it can be difficult, but I truly believe that every effort and hard work will be rewarded in the end.