The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Living out someone else’s dreams

Fathella’s wall was initially yellow, but while renewing her lease, she asked the manager if she could repaint the wall blue. Wynnona Loredo / Staff Photographer

Ayat Fathella, 21 and the youngest of four siblings, came to the US from Kuwait in Oct. 2012. She is study civil engineering, and plans to graduate Fall 2017, but it’s not what she wants.

“It’s my mother’s dream, not mine,” said Fathella.

Fiend and fellow civil engineering major Nour Abdullah, 20, says that Fathella is such a good person and so good to her mother, which is why she is so willing to study engineering.

If Fathella had been able to pick what to study, she would be studying media at CSUN.

Before coming to the US, Fathella was studying business administration in Kuwait.

After she graduates from CSUN, she plans to return home and to continue studying business administration to be able to live her own dream. Although after her taking civil engineering 101 Fathella said, “It changed my mind about the major and made me more excited about what I am learning.”


In the future, she hopes to be back home to open an orphanage in her hometown for Kuwait children to help provide proper care for orphans.

This is something that she is very passionate about because she knows what it is like to grow up without a parent, having lost her father at the age of two. She was fortunate to have had her mother but acknowledges that there are many children without any parents which is why she wants to do what she can to help and care for them.

Even though Fathella says that she has found interest in civil engineering cannot picture herself pursing it as a career. She knows when she tells her mother she won’t be pursing her studies, she will be disappointed.

“She has a very special personality. She is the type of friend that is always there for me and loves helping others,” said Abdullah.

Civil engineering major Ayat Fathella, 21, immigrated to California from Kuwait in 2012. After being accepted to CSUN, she moved from Fullerton to Northridge and has been living in a nearby apartment complex since 2014. While looking for apartments, Fathella would use Tango to contact her mother who was willing to pay a price premium for a safer environment. Wynnona Loredo / Staff Photographer

Her hobbies consist of swimming, cooking desserts and most importantly, relaxing on the weekends – something that she enjoys and looks forward to all week.

Fathella says that there is nothing she doesn’t miss about living in Kuwait. She especially misses her nieces and the restaurants back at home.

She feels lucky to have made friends here at CSUN who are also from Kuwait; she says that they are like their own little community.

They are able to relate to one another and speak their native language. She is not against making friends from CSUN who are not from Kuwait because she likes the idea of meeting new people and practicing the English language.

These flags hang behind Fathella's front door are the two places she calls home. Her college transfer was facilitated by National Union of Kuwait Students (NUKS), a Kuwait-based study abroad program. Wynnona Loredo / Staff Photographer

As a student from Kuwait, Fathella lives in the US with an F1 Visa. With this Visa, she is able to live and go to school here but is unable to work, which is something she wishes she was able to do.

According to the International Admissions at CSUN, “In 2014, over 3,500 international students from 156 countries joined our student body of 40,000 to create a vibrant, international campus.”

“Living in the US has made me more responsible of taking care of myself,” she said.

Fathella's family means everything to her and most of them are represented in this picture. Fathella's mother, Sadeqa (top right), is currently staying in her apartment. Sadeqa is only able to stay for a limited time as a non-citizen on vacation; if she violates this rule, her mother will be legally unable to return to the U.S. for about eight months. Wynnona Loredo / Staff Photographer

This includes living on her own and paying for her bills, which was something that she never had to do in Kuwait. Back home her mother was the one who would take care of all the family finances.

“In Kuwait I live my freedom in the limit with my religion, culture, and what my mother wants me to be.”

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