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Running the distance — in EgyptI live in Cairo — I’m an hour-and-a-half away from the Pyramids of Giza. I’m in a program called the YES Program. This (is an exchange) program between the U.S. State Department and countries that have a majority of Muslim population. I applied to the program in 2014, but I didn’t make it. Every year, there are 2,500 applicants, and they pick only 50. I applied again in 2015, and I made it.I went to Mountain Range High School (in Westminster). I go home (Egypt) in two weeks. After finishing high school in Egypt, I’ll either stay and go to college there, or I’ll come back to Colorado for college. I want to go to UCCS or CSU. I want to be a college athlete.I just feel myself when I’m running. When I’m in a bad mood, I go for a run, my mood totally changes. The competitive life of running is really enjoyable. It teaches you to have a goal.High school sports are a big thing here. It’s only soccer in Egypt. No one cares at all about track, basketball or any of these sports. Our Front Range league is so competitive in track; I was surprised by how fast I would need to be to make it to the state meet. I was in Egypt, like, a good runner, and I thought, “I’m going to come here and be a good runner, too.” But compared to the American runners, no.Missing EgyptI miss the food (in Egypt) and my family. My family is pretty small. It’s only me, my mother, father and sister. My sister is 12 years old; I miss her so much. Kushari is a dish I miss. It’s basically made out of lentils, macaroni, rice, tomato sauce and onions.I try to cook it here. My (host) family liked it, but I told them, “Guys, that’s horrible, you haven’t eaten Kushari.” I’m surprised they liked it. It was bad.Colorful ColoradoI like the four seasons here. I never saw that many colors in my life as in the fall. All the trees were colorful — it was beautiful. And when it snows and the snow melts — but it didn’t melt yet on the mountains.Some things you may not know about EgyptThere is a White Desert and a Black Desert. The Red Sea is beautiful. There is an island in the Rea Sea that is well-known for having hammerhead sharks. They don’t hurt you unless you try to touch or feed them or stare at their eyes. We speak Egyptian-Arabic, which is the slang of Arabic. It’s basically Arabic with wrong grammar rules.
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