My name is Arabic. I’m Muslim. It means seek the way and it’s a fountain in paradise. My last name, Ghandour, is a warrior.
I’m from Sudan. I lived there for 8 years. Over there I’m not really the standard of beauty because I’m from the north and the northern women they kind of look like, Indian and light skinned. [They see me as] darker, I have more black features, and it was a sort of everyday struggle trying to love myself, which is why I cut off all my hair, just trying to really embrace myself.
I moved to New York in 2012 from Sudan. I love it here. I feel like I’m really becoming me. My biggest turning point in life was my mother passing away. That’s the reason I came here. In 2012, my mom died of cancer. It made me more independent. I’m a momma’s girl. I depended on her. It’s like I feel reborn again, honestly. Taking care of my sister and I and facing obstacles. New York is really different from Sudan. The people are nice but you have to find nice genuine people here. It’s an everyday obstacle, but it’s cool. I’m becoming me and I’m happy about it.