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Looking at the Skies Around the World

Looking at the Skies Around the World

Well, I was born in the capital city called Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. But, because of my father's work we had to live in the village of Kyrgyzstan, which is called Karakoo in a small district of Issyk-Kul. And I'm the sixth kid in my family.

We are five girls and one boy, and my parents were expecting me to be a boy, but I turned to be a girl. Yeah, and my mom was at home, stayed, and then my father worked at a governmental job. He worked at customs, and by the time when I was like until 10 years old, I guess, he had to like travel, commute to his work, and stay in the neighboring region for two weeks, and then come back home.

So he was always at work, and then I think my mom played a huge role in my life, because by the time she was responsible for everything. So I could see my mom as a strong woman and deal with everything herself while when my father was at work.

For example, we had small, let's say, field, and then there were supposed to be some work to be done, but my mom would go there, talk to the local farmers, and then she would negotiate with people. And I would always accompany her to handle those issues, which kind of should be done by males in our society, but my mom would do everything.

In our society, there's a pressure on girls that they should get married, or there are some labels, or they should be even playing with dolls. But my father would bring me some toys, like that are designed for boys as well.

This way, I think it would, from my childhood, it would let me free, let me think free, like not putting myself into the societal expectations, I guess. And those, like small, things in my daily life, I think made a huge impact on me to think differently, to not limit myself.

And then when I was around seven years old, I guess, my uncle who was a famous musician, who traveled around the world, he brought an American guy from New York to our small village and it felt so different.

He looked very different than the other people I had seen in my life, like he is tall, white man. And then I was living in the village, right? And then looking, seeing the sky, looking at the milky way, like a lot of stars would be a very normal thing for me.

But he would always sit on the doorstep and then he would stare at the sky like every night. And then he would stay out and then just stare at the sky and I would wonder like why he keeps staring at the sky.

And then I didn't have English --- I couldn't speak English and then my, to my question like why he keeps staring at the sky. My uncle says “Meerim, in the city where he lives, there's a different sky” and then and then, I think it was very pivotal moment that I should also see skies in other parts of the world, inspired to learn English and to explore other skies of the world.

And then when I was 10 years old my family decided to move to the capital city of Bishkek and at the same time as a student who come from a village I wouldn't speak Russian and usually if you live in the capital you should speak Russian to look smart and then since I didn't have Russian, I started to focus on English I guess and I would say to myself like one day I'm going to learn English. I want to speak English perfectly. I will be traveling around and then I would prove that I can do something. I can do something so maybe that's why English was one of the ways to get out of this situation, I guess.

Now I'm at Harvard and one of my missions is to be the bridge between the developing countries and developed countries so that they can be, there can be a channel of resources coming from already developed countries to developing countries.

And I'm graduating already from the program within a week and my family is coming to visit me to celebrate this very like big milestone of my life. And I'm very excited about it. And I'm also very excited about what's waiting for me after this program. I'm very excited about the next chapter of my life.

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very inspiring, thank you.

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