Humans of OBU: Lydia Dean

“Throughout my seven weeks in Morocco, I made friends with the locals, and I was able to see how life is lived in Middle Eastern culture and Arab culture. I got to be fully immersed in their traditions and customs, experiencing the religion and just hanging out with the friends I made and met along the way. It’s crazy to see how Arab culture is just so different from ours. We all know about southern hospitality, but crank it up by 100 and that’s what Arab culture is. They are very hospitable. They want to welcome you into their home, eat with you, hear about life in America and what you believe in. I learned so much about how cultures are different and how closed off we as individuals can be to other cultures. It was really cool to experience their religion, meet people of that country and hear firsthand their thoughts and feelings about America, our culture and who we are as people. It was really awesome to break down some of those misconceptions. I also learned that it’s okay to be different and to embrace my culture and religion. Fitting in with the crowd isn’t always the best thing sometimes—you’re supposed to stand out, and when you realize that, it opens up so many opportunities for conversations and friendships that you never thought you would have had otherwise.”

Senior, Mass Communications

Nashville, Tenn.

photo by Levi Dade

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