Personal Statement for Law School Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Subject: Admissions Essays
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #23691582

Excerpt from Essay : comes from a Middle Eastern culture, very conservative and traditional. I was born in the United States, sent to American schools, and yet expected to hold tight to my parents' cultural values and traditions. The turning point of my teenage years came around age fourteen during an interaction with my uncle. He held a 9-millimeter pistol to my head and stated, "I as a male have the freedom to have relations with as many women as I please, whereas you with a single touch of the opposite sex can ruin the entire families' reputation." The encounter came after I had skipped school one day to meet a boy at a local cafe. I was ordered to wear a headscarf, threatened to do so or else I would get sulfuric acid thrown in my face. I know my parents did not approve, but I was still afraid. At that moment I became a rebel against what I viewed as the oppressor.

I want to make clear that strict Muslim parents are a minority, and nowhere in the Quran does it condone such behavior. This behavior is patriarchy and misogyny, plain and simple. The freedom I had previously fully enjoyed vanished. I was no longer allowed to leave the house without an older sibling and had a 7:00 PM curfew. I was no longer allowed to see my friends outside of school. I was switched to a same sex high school. This action ostracized me as "the other," and anger started to be a constant companion.

My anger created an "innate right to fight." My experience opened my eyes to the injustices within my community. I decided to begin studying other universal religions. Then I decided to leave my family. I was 18 and at approximately 2:00 AM, I got dressed, slipped my passport and a couple dollars in my pocket and walked out the door. I had one of my friends pick me up about a mile away from the house. I didn't see or speak to my family for six years after that. I was homeless for a few months, slept at friends' houses. I was not able to get a job because my family hired a private investigator and if I had applied anywhere, it would have been a matter of time before he tracked me down. The investigator literally chased me, and left intimidating messages on my phone.

I decided to stop being afraid. I took whatever jobs I could find, slowly saving enough to put myself through college and earn my BA. A good portion of my free time in the following years were spent on research and reading, seeking to understand humanity. My curiosity led me to read about history, language, religions, gender roles, and the impact these factors had on governance, legal systems, politics, crime and justice. I slowly came to realize that my family had not threatened me because of hate or ill-will, but because of fear and unfamiliarity. This realization was extremely empowering. I realized that my absence and refusal to speak to them was only mirroring their hostility and would only reinforce the fear and prejudice they held. I missed them dearly. I felt guilty because at the time I left, I did not care about what they went through.

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