Article #4 in the ESL Student Life Story Project, by Alaa from Saudi Arabia, age 26.
I felt like a princess in her palace! What a huge home! Everything was new and shining, and all lights were turned on. A heavenly smell wafted from the bouquet of white and pink roses at the entrance.
I was fifteen years old when we moved to my family’s current house in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and it was an unforgettable day. Every member of my family was so happy to at last leave our old apartment for our new dream house.
I grew up in a four bedroom apartment, but that didn’t mean I had a lot of space to myself! My three sisters and I shared one bedroom, another room was for my parents, and the other two rooms were guests’ rooms because in Saudi Arabia, inviting guests is so important. As a result, I was always dreaming of having my own room.
I was five years old when my dad first brought up the idea of moving to new house. All at once, I started imagining.
How would it look? What would be the color of my room? When we went by any house I liked, I squealed to my father, “I want our house to be like this!”
My dad would smile at me as he always does from under his white ghotra head covering and say, “You will get everything you want, Allo.” That made me dream a lot.
But unfortunately, building a new house in Saudi Arabia costs a lot of money. It takes countless steps: buying a piece of land, making the house’s plans, building the house, acquiring the furnishing, and more!
All of these steps cost a lot of money. Therefore, it took from when I was five years old to when I was fifteen for my family to at last achieve my childhood dream.
My dad is a civil engineer in Jeddah. To save for our house, my father worked full time in the morning, then went straight to engineering consulting office work until late each evening.
At the same time, my mother took care of us and cooked us tasty food while my father was so busy.
Finally, after ten long years, my dream was at last achieved when the new house was completed and we moved in!
Let me take you on a tour. The home has two floors. The first floor contains three guests’ rooms, one dining room, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. The second floor contains a master bedroom, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, and a maid’s room.
My bedroom was purple, which is my favorite color! When I got there, I couldn’t resist jumping on the bed. Wow! Having your own private room is such an exciting feeling!
Year after year, my family always remembers that day we moved into our dream house. I think we feel so grateful because my father really worked hard to get us our new home. If we had gotten our home easily, we wouldn’t know how important is it. We wouldn’t appreciate it as much.
I lived in my family’s dream house until I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Then, in May of 2010, I flew across the ocean to the U.S. to pursue my Master’s degree in Computer Science for the next three years. Even though I love America, you can imagine how much I miss my home!
But just as my father helped me to achieve my childhood dream of having a beautiful house, I believe I can achieve my current dream of earning an advanced degree from a university in America.
My father worked long and hard to make our dreams come true, and so will I.
Lillie’s Note: First, let’s celebrate how cool Alaa is for having a B.A. in the intense field of Mathematics… and for being such a kind, reflective person! Then, let’s leave her a comment on her fascinating article, stating geographical location. Hopefully you’re not too jealous to type!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!