“Learning to call my dorm home” -Mazin Al Jabri, Oman
Mazin Al Jabri, Global First Year student from Oman, shares a memorable experience from his first year at Florida International University (FIU) – learning to feel at home in his dorm!
“I have never been able to transition as easily as many people believe I do. Change makes me nervous. Moving to Miami from my country, The Sultanate of Oman, has been a fascinating journey that started with a 16-hour plane ride to Miami and ended at the Florida International University (FIU) dorms – a place I have learned to call home.
Wanting to leave my mark on people, I started by engaging with my new roommates. Alec is from Michigan and Tyler is from Pennsylvania… Louis, on the other hand, is on the verge of graduating and we never engage in conversations other than me looking up at him and noting how tall he is, which always seems to amuse him. Alec and Tyler told me once that they would have never become friends if I never introduced myself to both of them. I like thinking of myself as the glue that has kept our little brotherhood together. Our little group grew larger as Tyler’s girlfriend, Ingrid, joined us and started to spend more time with us. A little estrogen never hurt anyone and too much testosterone was getting a bit too much anyway! With that, we have become a close group of friends that always spend time together. Ingrid has been initiated as our figurative fourth roommate, a place Louis never took.
They have taught me a lot about their culture – things from food to music and pop culture. It is particularly sweet of them to always accommodate my religion and change any pork contents in their food to chicken or turkey so I can eat with them. It is amusing for me to cook them food that is from my culture such as (makboos) which is a combination of rice, chicken and vegetables cooked together in the same pot. I told them that the only way to eat this dish is by hand and watching them (people that are used to eating with forks and knives) make do with their hands was hilarious! It was messy, fun and many fingers were scorched by the hot food. It is the little things like that that have made us grow closer. By the end of the semester, it has made coming back to my dorm room feel like coming home. I honestly hope that I have left my mark on them as they have made their own marks on my heart.”