I was born and raised in Iraq, and graduated from Baghdad University in July of 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In July 2007, I left Iraq and flew into Damascus, Syria, after receiving a threatening letter from a radical extremist group. Fearing for my life, in 2009 I entered the U.S. on a student visa after being accepted into the Master's in Engineering Management program at National University in San Diego. The following year, I applied for, and was granted Asylum and approval to stay in the U.S. as a permanent resident.
During my studies at National University, the El Cajon Branch Library has been like a second home to me. I often go there two times a day. The studious atmosphere that the library provides has helped me concentrate and focus on my studies. The Quiet Zone is my favorite area of the library. It is the place that you can read and study with no disturbance, and I appreciate that the library staff's priority is to keep it that way. Also, the free Wi-Fi service that the library offers helps me a lot in completing research papers and assignments for my classes. The availability of staff makes my studies much easier, especially when it comes to references I need to complete assignments or research. As English is my second language, the librarians are the people who assist me in editing and making corrections in my linguistic and grammatical errors in my studies. Sometimes they give me ideas for improving the scientific value of my research.
Also in the library, I have made many friends who share the same situation as mine. Together, with the library staff, we have became as a big family consisting of different backgrounds and cultures that enrich the El Cajon Branch Library. When I started applying for jobs, the library helped me to build my resume, showed me jobs that fit my qualifications or education, and gave me tips on how to prepare well for an interview.
Today, I would like to thank everyone who helped me and are still helping in my academic career, starting with the Branch Manager, Librarians, and Library Technicians. Without them my study would never be as easy as it has been. I owe great thanks to the staff of the El Cajon library. I'm very blessed to have them in my life!