Self Reflection


Ever since I was a little girl, art was everything to me. I grew up with a strong passion for it, and my parents were very supportive in making this passion become my future career. However, as an Arab female, it wasn’t easy to choose this career path without questioning if this was the right decision for me since most Arab students get degrees in typical fields like medicine, law, business, etc. I have always asked, “Why is art not a common major choice for Arab students? Do they just view it as a talent and not a future job? What’s the reason behind that?” I feel like I’m the only Arab at Syracuse in the school of VPA, making me wonder if I actually belong here or not. Looking past the insecurities, though, I have decided to pursue art and make a living out of it, and even if I am the only Arab art student, who knows, maybe I will motivate other Arab students to follow this path too. 

The significance of this piece, which is a self-reflection of me, is to show that I’m still in the process of finding my true identity as an Arab female artist. I do believe that in the future, I’ll look back and be proud of this decision that I have made. If art is a talent, then why not mold this talent into something bigger and make it a part of my identity? I won’t have to look back in the mirror to find my identity anymore; I will by then, know who I am.

Manal Alghazeer is a first-year illustration major. In her free time, she does digital art commissions on Etsy, and enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies and listening to music.