“Everything has an ending and every ending is a new beginning” by Sondos Wa’el Alnajjar (Jordan)

Sondos giving presentation

I’ve always loved watching international movies, cultural exchange, and reading about different parts of the world. When I read about foreign places, I never imagined that I would actually get to visit them. When I realized this was a possibility, traveling all over the world became one of my goals.

Being chosen to represent Jordan in the TechGirls program made me feel both special and incredibly happy. We flew from Jordan to Germany, where we transferred to another plane. When we arrived at the airport in Frankfurt, I couldn’t believe it. I saw many people in the airport; different nations, colors, languages, some of them shedding tears because they were leaving and others wearing big smiles for having reached their destination. I had not yet reached my final destination but I was already wearing a big smile.Sondos at the UN

Participating in TechGirls and being in America taught me many things. It taught me to be responsible for myself and actions and how to respect every second of time. These are things I could not have learned while sitting in the house with my family. It taught me how to interact with the books I read or the movies I watch. It gave me the opportunity to live life like a character in the books I was reading.

Besides the cultural opportunities, I’ve also gained many skills and heard many inspiring speeches and quotes. Most importantly, I’ve gained a new family of 26 sisters from 9 countries and 4 beloved mothers who will stay alive in my memory and bring a special taste to my life whenever I remember them.

After three weeks, we came to the end of the TechGirls program, the end of our everyday meetings in the conference room, the end of our laughs, songs, and tears together. And who knows? We might make these memories live again. It is said, “Everything has an ending and every ending is a new beginning.”

When I returned to Jordan, it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was the beginning of my new life with these newly acquired skills and friends. I’ve been carrying the small details with me—working harder than ever, accepting other’s opinions more quickly, and understanding other people’s actions.

Yes, I have changed.

I couldn’t stop telling my friends and relatives about this huge life-changing experience. But after only a week of being back in Jordan, I had to prepare my bags again to visit another new world in an opposite direction for a different purpose. I went to India to participate in a competition with a team from my school.

I found it easier to leave my family for the second time, because I knew that there are plenty of opportunities waiting for me. I focused less on the difficulty of leaving home again and more on preparing for the competition. I wanted to make my country, my school, and myself proud!Sondos in India

When we first reached the airport, my team and I were disheartened by losing our bags. It dampened our spirits and we thought we’d never win a single prize at the competition. At that moment, we collected our strength together and with courage, continued to build our incredible team. The obstacles we faced never stopped us from being strong—we came home with the champion trophy of the competition.

Through these opportunities, I’ve met great new friends, learned about the cultures they come from, their religions and lifestyles. The best thing, to me, is that I’ve also learned how to work hard in harsh conditions and how to focus on the positive and let negative thoughts slip away.

Now that I am back home, I’ve decided that all the skills and lessons I learned must be transferred to every girl in my society, so that each of them can also have the chance to seek out the great opportunities that are available for those who work hard. I’m now working on many projects. One of them aims to educate the young girls in my community so that they will be able to see the world as I did.