“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. “Allah creates the creation in the beginning, and then brings it forth anew: and, in the end, to Him you all will re- turn” Quran 30:11. A question was posed to me “What is square one and can you ever return to it?” The first thing that came to mind was the dichotomy I am currently living. A dichotomy of east and west, Christian vs Muslim I must start at the very beginning. My life began in a dichotomy, conceived as the child of Uyghur parents. The Uyghur are a tribe and racial group split by the borders of China and Kyrgyzstan. We are a persecuted racial minority in China and a racial minority in Kyrgyzstan. The Uyghur are neither Chinese nor Caucasian but a unique racial and tribal group, comparable to the Native American Indians. Sadly fewer and fewer speak my native language, even I speak mainly Russian and was educated in Russian as Kyrgyzstan was part of the former Soviet Union. My people are torn between countries and languages. My story begins in 1999 in the capital of Kyrgyzstan Bishkek where I spent just 3-4 years and then went to a small town Karakol with my mom and my younger sister. My dad doesn't live with us. Now I want talk about a very important event that had happened to me. On March 28th 2016 a lot of things have changed. I won a scholarship for a Future Leaders Exchange program. It is a scholarship based exchange program that helps high school students from Middle Eastern countries study in an American High School and exchange their cultural experiences with the American people. Nobody can imagine how happy I was to be a finalist of this exchange program. I have been dreaming of seeing America since I was in the 6th grade. There are four thousand applicants in my city alone and only ninety students from all of Kyrgyzstan get selected. I had applied three times and this was my last chance. They do not tell you why you do not get accepted. I was president of my class and academically first in my class but didn't make it the first two times. My uncle filled out my paperwork the third time because the first two times when I wasn't selected my father told me it was because no one wanted me and they never would and I should stop applying. I studied incredibly hard and tried again because I couldn't give up on my dream. This time, my very last chance, I made it. What has impressed me the most, is how much charity work the church does. I volunteer in the food pantry, serving dinners and with the nurseries. I was really impressed by how there are so many people that want to be useful to their community. At home I volunteer with Kyrgyzstani Orphans. I have written grants to create curriculum to tutor them in English. Having lived in the US my desire to be useful to my community has grown. It is really important to understand that every help is appreciated. I remember one story that my teacher told me. He told us that one time there was a fire in the city and people were trying to get water in order to put out a fire, so one man saw that a small ant was carrying some water and he asked him if he thought that this much water can put out the fire and then ant replied:” The amount is not very important, your intentions are more important” In conclusion I want to say that we people should be kind to each other. We should always be willing to help each other. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”- Galatians 5:22 Another message of my essay is that all people are equal. It does not matter if you are Christian or Muslim, black or white, Asian or Hispanic. I uploaded the picture where there are girls from different countries and continents who have different religions and ethnicity but that is not a problem for them, because there is kindness in their heart.