I was raised in a family of first generation immigrants that escaped the civil war of
Lebanon In 1986. My father’s life was filled with hardships and adversity. Being
one of eight boys, my father was sick most of his childhood days. His father
constantly reminded him that he will need a form of support to continue, but my
father proved him wrong. He didn’t do so by disrespect, but by showing his
appreciation for life and how he wanted to take control of it.
The definition of ethics is the “moral principles that govern a person’s
behavior or the conducting of an activity”. There isn’t a guidebook on how to
apply ethics to your daily life, but it’s the experiences you have and the people
that surround you that shape you into the person you become. My family and
friends have allowed me to wander off in my interests in order to live through
different experiences daily.
I was raised as a Muslim, in a predominantly Arabic speaking household.
Being the only son with three sisters, my parents allowed me to grow and be
myself without inflicting their own beliefs onto me. I understood how to appreciate
the role of women and their importance to the foundation of our lives. My parents
allowed me to do everything a regular American kid would do. I was dating at 16,
drinking and graduating college at 21. Within those years, I fell in love with a girl
that is out of my league. I fell in love with a Jewish girl from Ukraine that was
brought to America by her family in hopes for a better life. America is seen as the
land of freedom where anyone of any color, race, religion, or sexuality has the
right to express themselves in a respectable manner.
During my years, I learned a lot. I cried, laughed, and smiled. But, I
have always felt empty. I used to love capturing moments. I loved going to
Central Park on a Sunday morning and just capturing people enjoying
their Sunday morning there. Everyone knows that in order to become a
photographer in life you need to work extra hard even when life hits you with
hardships if you want to make it big. So I really never followed my dreams as a
photographer, keeping it more as a hobby. I still stuck to an expensive lifestyle
though which lead to me being unhappy as a person. I would get lost in
superficial, materialistic things. Not until my 24th birthday did everything change.
I began to feel sick. After my first trip back from California and my first seizure
that summer, I didn’t feel like myself. For the next year, my life was a complete
mystery. I was misdiagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and later on discovered it
was cancer. Cancer really wasn’t hard. Cancer was easy because it became a
routine. I knew every day what I needed to do: to stay alive and if I didn’t, I would
When happens when science meets arts? X-rays. I stopped blaming
cancer for my problems and started taking responsibility. I applied to the Center
for Allied Health as an X-RAY technician. A week later, I met with Isaak
Miroshenko and Elizabeth Adair for my interview for the program. I remember a
question they asked me: why radiography? I told them my story about cancer
and how cancer changed my life and helped me find my passion for radiography.
I saw the positive look they gave me, and they even went on to tell me that my
persuasiveness could help me in selling MRIs and XRAYs, not only working with
them. I felt good, and they continued by asking the question: what questions do
you have for us? I replied and asked: "Why your program rather than another
program?" They replied: "because we are the best at what we do and we love
what we do". I felt it in her tone that it was sincere which won me over and with
that, she allowed me to follow my calling in life. I now know what I want in life. I
remember my first day in clinic where I did my first chest PA x-ray to a 99 year
old man. I remember just looking at him and saying to myself: "Wow, that was me
a year ago. Thank God I’m on the opposite side and I am grateful." I continued
my work and made his stay there so much more worthwhile. I saw that he was
wearing a Yankee hat and I told him "Hey! It’s your luck that I have to shoot this
x-ray because I’m a Mets fan!" He quickly replied: "No, no, no! This my
granddaughter’s hat – she got it for me on my 70th birthday". He started laughing,
then replied with "she’s well grown now." I smiled and appreciated life in that
Coming back to ethics, and how can you teach someone ethics. We, as
people, tend to disconnect from one another and start to become cynical.
Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad, because in order to become a better
version of yourself, you first need to love yourself. We are too busy in the day to
stop and ask ourselves if we are okay. Small issues turn to bigger issues
because of a misunderstanding that could’ve been avoided if both people took a
second to hear each other out instead of attacking each other.
My family roles have played a major impact on the person I have
become. I have the compassion of my mother but the heart of my father and the
strength of my sisters. I carry the traits of both my parents and use my family’s
inspiration to mold myself into someone who appreciates life and tries to make it
worthwhile for myself and those around me.