MELLON MAYS FELLOW
Miriam Abdullah, a Palestinian American, was born in Brooklyn, New York, and later relocated to Staten Island with her family. Growing up in a first generation household, Miriam was surrounded by Middle Eastern culture. She attended public schools throughout the city and enrolled in Islamic education programs during her spare time. As a child, Miriam began to feel the pressures of being a female in a Middle Eastern culture. Oftentimes, Miriam felt like she led two separate lives – the traditional girl at home and the American girl at school. This led to her passion for reading and writing. She mainly invested her time in reading literature by minority authors who discuss social issues. Her favorite authors include Jhumpa Lahiri, Virginia Woolf and James Baldwin. Through their influence, she began unleashing her frustrations through writing poetry and short stories. Most of her writings focus on the pressures that first generation females face in America. Miriam is an English literature and Sociology major. She hopes to obtain a doctorial degree and to teach literature, focusing on the different struggles that women face.