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MS Degree in Orthodontics, Syrian

November 19, 2013

As a young man and a dentist from Syria who has only been in America for a little over one year, the two high points in my career so far as a dentist are completing a dental radiology course in Massachusetts through the Dental Society of Boston and my current position, studying in an Advanced Implantology International Postgraduate Training Program at the University of XXXX. I have also gained valuable experience working as a dental assistant here in America. This is why I came to America, to continue my education in dentistry with the finest education available on the planet. It would be a special honor for me to be accepted to your distinguished Master’s Program in Orthodontics at Jackson University.

 I finished my undergraduate studies and earned my BS Degree in Dentistry from Kalamoon University in my native Syria in February of 2012. As soon as I earned my degree, I got on a plane and flew to the USA. This is because, for the past 2.5 years, Syria has descended into a brutal civil war and the lives of me and my family were in danger; so we all left for safe havens. The day after I landed in the USA I began looking for work in my field, dentistry, but especially Orthodontics. Within a couple of weeks of my arrival, I was working as a Dental Assistant for XXXX Endodontic, in XXXX, MA, observing and assisting Dr. Mohamed XXXX primarily with root canals as well as general dentistry. Since Orthodontics is the center of my world, however, it was a special honor for me to contribute all that I could to XXXX Braces, in West Bridgewater, MA in May and June of 2012, observing and assisting Dr. XXXX  in the development of treatment plans and general preparations for patients.

 My parents are citizens of Saudi Arabia who raised me in Syria, so they went to Saudi Arabia. But I am not a Saudi citizen and while I could have entered the country with my family, I would not have been able to progress as a dentist. What I wanted was to continue to study dentistry so as to become the most highly qualified Orthodontist possible. I made a very good choice coming to America. Most fortunately, the US government granted me political asylum from the current government of my country, President Bashar Al-Asaad. While I studied near the capital Damascus, I am from Aleppo. My home town is currently under siege by thousands of foreign forces from Lebanon funded and trained by Iran.

 The war has become increasingly international with the presence of these Iranian proxy militias. We do not know what will happen. With both Russia and China backing the current government and sectarian religious conflict engulfing the entire region, again igniting neighboring Iraq, all case scenarios look bleak. The only thing that concerns me is that someday when the shooting stops, they are going to need dentists as well as doctors, a day when doctors and dentists will be able to work in Syria without being shot themselves. I love almost everything about America, especially its diversity. I hope to make America my long term home. I also hope, however, that conditions will someday improve in my country of origin so that I will be able to at least participate in if not organize and lead dental missions to Syria so that I will be able to make the maximum contribution possible to my people, to oral health care in the new Syria that will take shape after the war is over.

 My dental school in Syria is still functioning, but with only a small fraction of the students that it once had. The sound of rocket fire and the site of burnt out vehicles littering the highways was enough to dissuade about half of my classmates from continuing their studies. Among those of us who continued to study, many of my fellow students began to simply disappear, one or two at a time, sometimes three. After completing my degree, I sought asylum in America because I knew that my life was in grave danger in Syria. I want to emphasize, however, that I feel myself to be neutral in the current conflict, not taking sides, as I am a healer not a fighter. I want to work with all parties concerned to bring adequate dental care to a new Syria. I would prefer, for example, to never be considered an enemy of the Russians and Chinese; rather, I want to work with them one day in the future.

 Syria will need enormous help after the war is over and I want to have maintained my neutrality so that I will be able to work with the world-wide oral health community at some point in time, and it is my hope that Russia and China will contribute to a new Syria, not just the old one that is now dying. Personally, I feel as if I have already fought my war by completing dental school in a war zone under regular fire. I did not become a dentist to simply die. I am a young man with my life ahead of me. I want to see thousands of faces of people that I can help. I want to make my patients smile for the next half century.

 Most of all, however, I wish to emphasize that I am in no hurry to return to Syria. I fully imagine that hostilities will persist for years to come in some form, and I do not want to return even on a mission until political hostilities have ceased.

 100% of my focus is on my immediate goal of earning the Master’s Degree in Orthodontics in your distinguished program at XXXX University. Orthodontics is my life’s work, making peoples smile, helping them to be beautiful and handsome as well as healthy. My most profound dream is to contribute to the diversity of your program as a Syrian dentist and I thank you for considering my application to your program.

 

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