I was born to a family of 15 children as the middle child. I spent the early years of my childhood in the countryside herding animals and sometimes gazing camels on the meadow. Looking after animals was one of the toughest tasks that I have ever done in my life. I would sometimes leave the house in the morning and come back at night having only drunk a bottle of water for the whole day. But my parents sensed the importance of education and that herding animals wasn’t going to bring them any good and they decided to move to the city to lead the future of their children in a better direction. However, moving to the city was financially a big step for my parents and they couldn’t afford it, so they decided to send some of us to the city and luckily I was one of the chosen ones.

It was the burden of the family to make sure that their children are exposed to their religion and that they learn about Allah (God) before anything else. Therefore, I started my first Quran School at that time and invested all my time in it. I would wake up every day four in the morning and start reciting and memorizing three pages of the Quran. Then, I would leave the house before traces of the daybreak appeared and go to the Quran School and recite the three pages in front of everybody. The teacher didn’t allow me to make any mistakes, if I did, he would not give me a new lesson and I had to repeat it for the next day. In the meantime, I completed memorizing the Quran, and my parents began discussing sending me to school. I started school and did very well in my first year, which gave me the preference to skip my second grade.

I happily and proudly settled in third grade. My parents were always the abiding incentives I had and they used to encourage me every time even if I performed poorly.  I continued acing my tests; however, it was my turn to plan for my future and contemplate where I wanted to go for high school. Abaarso School was the best school in the country, and I decided to go there. I was the highest student when we took the entrance exam and my parents were even prouder and happier than they have ever been and gave me gifts and many other valuable things.

Abaarso School was a boarding school in the western part of Somaliland, which was very far from my hometown. I spent most of my life with my parents, but now, I was by myself and didn’t know anyone at the school. I used to eat food that was cooked by my beloved mother; however, I had to adjust to the food that was available in the school. As time passed, I was getting out of my comfort zones, and I made a lot of friends who were by my side throughout my years at Abaarso.

Learning English was another challenge for me. I only knew few words and couldn’t use them properly. There were American teachers at my school, and they were the most difficult to understand. I managed to survive despite all the challenges and hardships that I faced during my time at Abaarso.

I continued getting good grades and exemplifying the core value of my school. On March 10th, 2014, the glad tidings came. I received a letter from Worcester Academy congratulating me on my acceptance. I was overwhelmed with joy and happiness and couldn’t believe I made that far; everyone came up to me with heart-felt hugs to share the everlasting happiness with me. Sometimes, I would sit down thinking that this was just a mere dream and this never happened, but I knew deep inside that it was more than a dream. That day, I knew it was the beginning of another journey, a new page of my life that I would keep away from any scribble and scratch. That day, I realized the importance of having a goal in life and what it can bring to you. That day, I learned that opportunity is not something that just comes to you with open hands, rather it’s something that needs perseverance and a great deal of dedication.