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Third quarter

Hey everyone,

Hope you’ve all been doing well! I apologize for my hiatus, but I will more than make up for it with photos:)

My time at the NIH is whizzing by, I’m so upset about it! One of the largest ophthalmology conferences is taking place in May, so it’s almost time for the other opthalmology students in the program and me to show our stuff in Orlando! Fun stuff!

As far as DC and Bethesda go, the weather just turned up, and I’m sick in bed. Yayyy. So instead of discussing what I’ve been missing out on, I’ll show pics of the awesome stuff I was doing pre-sickness:

Grainy photo of Talib Kweli DJing in DC!

I went to Boston to visit a friend Samah one weekend, and we went to my old favorite restaurant that I went to in Boston to in 7th grade and couldn't stop thinking about, Giacomo's! NOM:)

Went to a friend in the program's house for the Super Bowl! Still have no idea who won..

Speaking of ophthalmology, these are my Ophthy fellas, aka the guys in my program who work near me everyday:)

My two good friends in the program after one of our morning conferences:)

Tour of NPR Headquarters in DC! View of the awesome workspace

My trial of Arabic food making: Fetet-Makdoos 🙂 Mama would be proud

Went on a ski trip with friends in my program in Maryland! I've never skied before so it was a traumatic and awesome experience!

Me and two friends in my program. Photo was taken to see if we all had the same color eyes

Grainy photo of me presenting to next year's interviewees for our program. I kept it super professional

The Dalai Lama visits the NIH!

Famous chicken and waffles from Birch and Barley in DC

Slam poetry event at Busboys and Poets! I rounded a group together to see this artist Safia Elhillo whom I'd seen back in 2009 in DC, and she was phenomenal as expected

This was the group (mostly friends in the program) I brought together for Safia Elhillo's slam poetry- great night!

Back in Michigan! Remember my friend who got married back in November? This was the henna ceremony for her wedding!

Official wedding the next day. It was such a beautiful night!

Nothing like Mama's home cooking when I go back to Michigan:)

Match Day 2014 at the University of Michigan! It was a fun time to see where my original graduating class will be starting residency this summer

Back in DC: In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Nas's Illmatic album release back in 1994, Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra performed his whole album (plus more) at the Kennedy Center in DC- it was amazing!

The friends who accompanied me to the Nas concert

Despite feeling sick now, the past few months have been really great! I promise to post again soon!

Take care,


Halfway point

Hey everyone, hope you’ve all been well.

Over at the NIH in Bethesda, I’ve passed the halfway point of my research year. Besides the anxiety of trying to finish up my year with my projects completed, I am also sad to see that the year is going by so fast! This year off has provided an opportunity for me to contemplate future career options with a clear head (plus some time to read books). Just last week my classmates at Michigan found out into which ophthalmology programs they matched– it’s crazy to think that I will hopefully be matching next year! I’m slowly and regrettably making my way into adulthood.

Besides research, I just turned 25 last month, which hasn’t been too bad so far. I celebrated by visiting a friend in LA and taking in as much of the sun that I could before going back to the cold. But given the ridiculous amount of cold that hit the Midwest, I’m happy to be in Bethesda to experience a milder winter for once.

Picture time!

As promised, a pic of my mom's Thanksgiving dinner way back in November

View from my balcony on a beautiful morning in Bethesda

Surprise cake from my friends in the NIH program on my birthday:)

Venice Beach

View of LA from behind the Hollywood sign


Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles- nom!

Delicious breakfast burrito in Cali

Grape leaves that I made back in Bethesda!

Talk to you all later!

DC Chillin

Hey everyone,

Hope you’ve all been doing well. Last we spoke, the government shut down. I spent my time off reading and going to the gym, then I went back home to Michigan, and returned to the NIH in time for the government to re-open (took them long enough). I’ve been spending the last month getting back on track with research, getting ready for abstract submissions, and hanging out in Bethesda and DC.

I can’t believe how nice this year off has been. I have been able to read, make my own meals, listen to the new Drake album (two thumbs up), and relax. Not to mention I’m learning a lot in terms of research and the field of ophthalmology. It’s been a great experience to learn from the top researchers and especially to work with one. It has helped me with my efforts to combine my recently attained clinical knowledge with my previous career and research interests.

Enough chit chat! Let’s look at pics:

View of Capitol Hill on the way to enjoying the first day of the government shutdown

View of Janelia Farms, HHMI's research campus, at which I attended an HHMI conference. This building is stunning

Went home just in time for Momma's cooking for Eid!

In Detroit for my great friend Manal's engagement (she's in the blue!)

View of the stage at Busboys and Poets, a DC gem, where I attended an Open Mic Night for slam poetry

Back to my roots- Watched Palestinian singer and Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf perform in DC!

NIght pic from my balcony on a warmer night in Bethesda

Stalker photo!- No biggie, just NIH Director Francis Collins playing piano in the atrium of the NIH Clinical Center

So that about sums up my time here so far- it’s been such a great time! I will talk to you all soon (with pics of Momma’s food from Thanksgiving of course).

Take care,



Hello from Bethesda!

I apologize for such a long delay since my last post. But now that I currently have no job I figured this was the perfect opportunity to let you know how things have been going.

I’m of course referring to the government shutdown that just began at midnight. And despite it being all the rage on American news stations, there has been little mention of the detriment it causes to the NIH. Except for extremely important people, no one is allowed to work inside, meaning the research conducted and patients admitted for protocols have halted. It’s disappointing and amazing to see how political arguments have made such a large impact on people’s lives. As a med student scholar at the NIH, I feel in awe of what’s going on around me, it’s been an incredible thing to witness.

Before last night, research had been going well. It’s been a really rewarding experience being able to be at the NIH, listening to famous lecturers and researchers, seeing how they do things at the world’s premier research institution.

It’s also been great to have a life outside of it all. Far from the constant guilt of needing to study or the lack of time in general, I finally have free time and this thing called “weekends.” It’s great, you all should try it some time. Here are some pics of things I’ve been up to around the area:

First things first- found a great pizza place called Pizza Tempo that makes pizza with Turkish beef sausage

Stunning view from Billy Goat Trail in Maryland, which I went to with Karen, another Michigan med student in the program

Another beautiful view from the Billy Goat Trail

First time at a baseball game- great view of Nationals Park

View of the stage and crowd at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2013, where several bands played in MD, including Robin Thicke performing here

Time for a DC tourist pic- this was on my way to the beautiful Lincoln Memorial

And of course, I take to had a (poor) photo to commemorate the announcement of the government shutdown

Well, I assume that’s more photos than most can handle.

I did want to post something about the unfortunate death of my classmate, Paul DeWolf. It was so hard for me to post anything on the blog for so long for this reason. It has been such a tragic occasion that is still so difficult to think about, it has been incredibly hard to articulate even to myself how I feel. My thoughts go to his family and close friends. May he rest in peace.

Switching it up

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well. I have some fun news: I have just recently moved to Bethesda, Maryland to do a year of research at the NIH. I’m working under a great program, the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, where 44 other med students and I get a chance to work with NIH researchers and undertake different projects of interest and get to be exposed to this great environment. I have been able to take this research year between my M3 and M4 year, so after a year here I can come back and finish my clinical rotations.

I JUST moved here this weekend. I actually had lived in the same apartment for 7 years in Ann Arbor, so moving out was very difficult. I had papers from undergrad that I had to either throw away or convince myself to keep. That definitely wasn’t easy. But it’s over, and now I’m here living right next door to the NIH, just in time for the very hot and humid DMV weather:) I’m excited to start work, enjoy the research year and learn a lot, and celebrate the 4th of July in the nation’s capital!

I’ll keep you all posted now that I actually will have some free time! I don’t know how I will be able to handle being away from M3 year, but I’m sure I’ll manage. 🙂