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October 28, 2020

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15 minutes with Mashhour Alqurashi, ONU pharmacy student

From Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a city of 5 million, to Ada, Ohio

Pardon our recent distracation. The Icon has a couple 15-minute interviews with ONU international students that we've not had a chance to post. Our intern, Liza Dyachuk, from Russia, conducted these in early March. We hope these students are able to continue to communicate with their family and we hope everyone is well.

Interview by Liza Dyachuk

Mashhour Alqurashi
From Saudi Arabia 
Junior pharmacy major

Icon: How did you hear about ONU?
My friend has a friend who went to ONU. First, I was in West Virginia University doing my pre-pharmacy program, then I transferred at ONU because my friend gave me a positive feedback about ONU. 

Icon: What city did you grow up in?
 In Jeddah, the second biggest city in Saudi Arabia, with 5 million people.

Icon: How do you communicate with your family while in the U.S.?
Mash: I call my mom twice a week via WhatsApp, if I don’t have time, for example, during my exam weeks, I send her a voice message, how my week is going. 

Icon: What do you hope to do with your degree?
After I graduate, if I get a chance to work here, I’d love to do that at least for three to five years, but I eventually I’d like to go back to Saudi Arabia or go there every year because there is my family. 

Icon: How many languages do you speak?
I do speak two language,s Arabic and English. I tried to learn Spanish, but I don’t have time for that.

Icon: What other countries in the world have you visited?
I’ve visited Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and the United Arabic Emirates.

Icon: What is the biggest culture shock you experienced when arriving at ONU?
When I arrived here at ONU, it’s already been four years for me in America. The only thing I can mention is the size of Ada, but it wasn’t a shock. Other than that, I really didn't have a culture shock.

Icon: What’s the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the United States?
One of the things when I first came to the USA, I came to Florida. I was amazed to see diversity; people from different countries with different experiences and ethnicities. I wasn’t exposed to that kind of thing back home. And I think it’s really cool!

Icon: Do you homesick? What do you miss the most from home?  
Yes, sometimes, especially first two years in America. What I miss the most about my country is family and food. 

Icon: What food do you miss from home? Can you describe the food that you miss?
: Kabsah, it is a rice dish with lamb or chicken, and good Arabic spices.  

Icon: Is there somewhere in the United States that you hope to visit?
Arizona, the Yellowstone and Lake Tahoe.

Icon: How do you like the weather in Ohio?
I’m from a really hot country, so the summer here is okay for me, I’m used to it. I love snow though!

Icon: What has been your favorite experience here so far?
I’d say the chance that I got to meet a lot of different people from different countries. I wouldn’t get this opportunity back home.