By Khadija Alaa - We read the fantasy novel of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien in my British Literature class this year. It is basically a story of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who went on an adventure to help a group of thirteen dwarves reclaim their lost treasure and empire against the tradition of his community.
Bilbo was a very conservative ordinary hobbit until Gandalf, a wizard, chose him to accompany the dwarves in their journey. During the adventure, he finds a magic ring that helps him disappear and fight evil creatures.
A friend asked me about the book, and as I told my friend the story, I discovered that I was telling my life story as well. Yes, I was exactly like Bilbo when I was in high school. I liked my home and my routine life. I have never thought about living alone far from my family. One day, my brother-in-law came to me just like Gandalf, and recommended AUIS to me.
My brother-in-law didn't write "Burglar" on our door, but he did tell my parents about my capabilities and what I could become in the future. I was shocked when I heard what he said. I decided to start my adventure at AUIS. The people who surrounded me didn't like it, just like the Hobbit community. None of them have ever gone on an adventure. My brother-in-law supported me during my first year here, but then he had to travel and we couldn't contact each other very often. I had to rely on myself completely just like Bilbo in the Mirkwood forest.
Am I lucky like Bilbo? Or do I have a magic ring? Yes, I'm lucky to have family inspiration that helps me keep going. I’m learning the principles and ideas (the ring) that were taught at home through practical lessons during my adventure. They are not as magical as the ring, but they do help me when facing troubles. They are real tools that I can use instead of words that I only listen to at home.
Some evil people tried everything possible to stop me. Bilbo fought his enemies, the spiders and the trolls, using a sword. I didn’t fight physically like Bilbo, but I did fight and it took me a significant amount of time to fight the obstacles and the evil. The biggest battle was the one that took place and is still taking place inside me between my heart and mind; the feeling of longing to be at home and the insistence to keep going.
I'm not sure how my adventure will end. What will happen when I go back? Will society like me and respect me? Will society change its attitude about me? Am I going to write about my adventure? These are questions that I will be able to answer in a couple of years if you are interested in knowing the answers.