A challenge worth taking – by Eman Gaza

Language is my life-long challenge that has been most worth taking. On a sunny day in the summer of 2000, while watching my dad watch the news on CNN, I stood still, unable to understand a single word. I was terribly shocked by my dad’s ability to react to what he was listening to. At that moment, I asked him, “Dad, do you know those people on TV and what they are saying?” He laughed and said among his words, “Honey, to make your English alive and healthy, you should develop the four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking all at the same time.” For a twelve-year-old girl, my father’s words didn’t make any sense. However, I understood only one thing which was that I should hurry in order to bring my English to life. With my dad’s inspiration, my life-long challenge has just begun. I set off on my journey into the fabulous world of the English language; a wonderful adventure into the unknown. In addition, my family has always encouraged me to enrich my innovation and will. Therefore I worked really hard to make them always proud of me. Day after day along with my parents’ encouragement and their deep faith in me, I became more self-confident. By watching three hours of CNN on a daily basis, writing down the headlines and looking up the new words, my passion to learn language grew more and more. The more effort I exerted to learn English, the more language became the food of my soul, no matter how difficult learning had been. With strong determination, I broke the obstacles into hundreds of pieces developing the four skills of language. From that sunny day, I realized that the study of English language is the passion of my life.

Throughout my life, I dedicated my relentless efforts to having a good command of English, which was my favorite school subject. In high school, I participated in a twinning project in Gaza City, between the Gaza City and the state of Minnesota. During this one year project, participants from both countries shared ideas and experiences about the American and Palestinian cultures. Such a Program had a great influence on my way of thinking and expanding the horizon of my life. As a participant, I improved my intercultural communication skills by learning more about American society. I have also developed critical thinking skills through discussions. Day after day, I felt more committed to building up cross-cultural relations between the two distinctive societies. In addition, it became clear to me that language makes the world smaller even when miles apart. As a result of that experience, my English skills developed greatly. All in all, I am thankful my efforts and hard work have paid off.

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