My Fulbright Experience: An Unexpected Dream Come True
I connected virtually with everyone on my wish-list, meeting leaders from non-profit sectors, religious institutions, academics and scholars who shared my passion for moving civil society to act justly for all. Definitely, I would not turn back. I was so grateful for my time in the US for having more than enough to make the experience worthwhile. What’s next? It is my turn to inspire young and talented youth to chase their dream and create their future.
I went to the U.S in 2019, funded by the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholars Initiative program. The grant was designed to send academics or scholars from 10 ASEAN countries to the U.S to share expertise that can benefit both continents and bridge gaps that have not yet been discovered. Like several other Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN alumni, I credit Dr. Zulkifli Hasan (Fulbright Alumnus 2015) with my first awareness of the word ‘Fulbright’.
I was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Center for Islam in the Contemporary World, Shenandoah University. This experience, since the day I applied to this program, changed my whole life. I began my story to remind you of the importance of contacting and following the people who inspire you. You never know where it may lead.
Despite my main task to do research, I was glad I had an opportunity to volunteer with the locals. I helped Riverside High School students to prepare props for their annual stage show. I also did join a volunteer program to feed the homeless organized by Islamic Center New York University. And now, I have been chosen as an exco member for the Fulbright Alumni Association of Malaysia (FAAM) for two years. I love FAAM’s mission to connect the Malaysian Fulbright Alumni with the broader community to share ideas and inspire them. Being surrounded by incredibly smart, interesting and passionate people feeds my soul and thought.
Since the day I received the text from Dr. Zulkifli, and later was awarded the Fulbright grant, I often wonder about the role of fate in our lives. Definitely, I would not turn back. I was so grateful for my time in the US for having more than enough to make the experience worthwhile. What’s next? It is my turn to inspire young and talented youth to chase their dream and create their future.