3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Talking about Palestine

So I am a Armenian-Palestinian-American and first gen on my dad's side. My family has gone through a lot. My spike is local and national organizing and I (hope) I have very strong ecs to support this: from gubernatorial campaigns, national e-boards of orgs w/6,000 members, to passing bills. Being middle eastern, I am viewed as white in college admissions so I thought I would mark other then explain my identity in the personal statement. Is it safe to talk about being Palestinian and the discrimination I have received, how it inspired me to make change at the local level, or will they discriminate against me?

How should I approach this? I don't plan to discuss the conflict but rather my experiences, having to hide has a Jordanian/middle eastern person.

And I would like to add that yes this is odd, being afraid of discrimination from talking about being discriminated against but hey, this is what it's like being Palestinian American.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

I think you should definitely touch on this. Talk about how this shaped your personality and your worldview. I don't think anyone will discriminate against you.. you are merely informing them about how your circumstances led to your character development, and that's supposedly what AOs want to know. You seem to have taken every opportunity before you to create an impact, so this should show AOs that not only are you resilient in the face of adversity, but also motivated towards helping others overcome their problems.

3 years ago

As long as you aren’t including anything political you should be fine.

This is what the College Counseling Office at my school says about this “Many people have significant and essential religious or political convictions, and in their hearts, admission officers fully respect those feelings and beliefs. Honestly, however, very few admission readers want to read about your convictions in an essay. This topic area stacks the risk-reward ratio against you to the point where you simply need to avoid it. Weaving politics into an essay does not provoke the same extreme reaction, but it nonetheless runs the risk of having an admission reader respond negatively on an emotional level to your essay because of a differing political view. (Then, they might couch their criticism of your application from another direction, perhaps in an analysis of your argumentation skills). Application essays are not history papers, including recent history, so an analysis of the after- effects of Brexit or a critique of the southern border wall controversy will not create interest in your application; in fact, quite the opposite will likely take place, especially if you lead with your political leanings in your breakdown of the topic.”

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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