Dalia Elsayed is a 24-year old Egyptian American Muslim residing in New York City. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in social work at Fordham University. Her passion for helping others translates into her career. In her candid story, she shares how her personal outlook on life has shaped her passion for her career in helping others.
This story is part of “American Muslims”, a photo series created by Carlos Khalil Guzman, a photographer and activist based in NYC. The project is dedicated to capturing the diversity of the Muslim community in the United States. We will not only be sharing the images from the project, but each image will be accompanied by a personal and unique story to show our shared humanity. To read more about Dalia and the rest of the faces from “American Muslims” click here.
Social work allows me to connect with the community and make a difference in someone’s life. As social workers we see what others sometimes miss. We develop a relationship with people and can help change their lives for the better. Helping someone in need is one of the most rewarding experiences in life for me personally and it is also what Islam teaches us. Who I am as a Muslim and my values translate into my work which is why I chose to pursue social work.
I would like to be remembered as an individual with a pure heart whose biggest joy in life was to help people change their lives for the better. I want to be the person people remember as humble, modest, funny, and honest. I consider myself very optimistic of life and everything it has to offer and I’m thankful for the simplest things I come across everyday. People often ask me how I can be so stressed and depressed at times and still be able to maintain a smile on my face and treat people with respect. My answer is that I’m blessed in so many ways that I try to never take these simple blessings for granted. I am a simple person who cherishes beautiful memories and will help a person in need without ever expecting anything in return.
In regards to role models, I believe they should not be limited to one or two people. I meet role models every day; whether it is my family, colleagues, community members and random strangers in the street. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a unique experience that has influenced and inspired them to be the person they are today. These stories are my life lessons and with each lesson I learn, I develop and grow more every day.