Photo by Emily Yang

Humans of UCSF: Finding Joy Despite the Hate

Columnist
School of Dentistry

“I have recently found myself at a curious intersection between privilege and disadvantage. On the one hand, my parents are hyper-educated, both holding doctoral degrees in STEM fields, and I am very lucky to be here at UCSF pursuing my passion for pharmacy. It is here that I am able to work on projects that impact both the local level (health fairs for the local homeless) and the international level (research on access to pharmaceutical care in Argentina). On the other, I am a Muslim woman of color. I still face discrimination every day; wearing a hijab makes me an easy target for ignorant comments or hateful rhetoric against my Arab culture and Islamic faith. Make no mistake: it is tough living within this paradox. However, I try my best to face every day with a smile. Ultimately I can always be grateful for the daily blessings I experience just by being here.”

Engie Salama, School of Pharmacy, P1