Story by Kamilla Silina, Work & Travel Department
Omar Al Shamailh. from Jordan, visited Washington, D.C. this summer as one of CHI’s Cultural Ambassador Award winners. Before visiting D.C., Omar spent his summer as a Work and Travel participant at Island Souvenirs in Port Aransas, TX.
We checked in with Omar to see what the CAA conference meant to him.
“I met great people from all around the world, lived with them, and together we participated in various activities. This made me more open and tolerant of people from different backgrounds. The program gave me more knowledge about the US and its great history, which made me more curious about this country. “
What was the highlight of CAA 2019?
“The people! I’ve never been so involved in a group the way I was involved in this one. We blend in so fast together as if we knew each other from a long time ago. Hearing about their countries and experiences, and telling them about mine was one the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”
What is one thing you learned?
“I’ve learned from the history of Washington to never to give up when facing hardships, and to stand up again, every time I fall.“
During the CAA conference, Omar talked about wanting to visit Japan but was nervous about it. He was so inspired by the D.C. conference that he took the leap and is currently studying in Japan. Not only is he learning about Japan and its culture, but he now represents his country of Jordan and shares his rich culture through music.
“The other day, we played out in front of the teachers of the Japanese International Center (Japan Foundation) and the same training participants. I played an Arabic song with my Egyptian Senior.”
Here is a video of Omar’s beautiful performance.