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The Qatari billionaire who embraced kindness

I first heard of Abdel Wassim El Whani when I stumbled across a video of him on YouTube giving away Lamborghini’s to strangers in the streets of Paris.

Abdel Wassim El Whani is a Qatari billionaire who enjoys sharing his wealth with others; after all, his fortune is something that only increases by the day. The videos I found left me simultaneously humored and in awe. “Is this guy for real?,”I thought to myself. I watched video after video, happy to know people like this still exist.

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Overcoming OCD: What my compulsions taught me

There I was, trapped in my room with no where to go.

It had become my last refuge and now a self-contained cell. I was a living contradiction: both the prisoner and the gatekeeper.  This is what OCD had reduced my life to: hiding away from all of my fears in the confines of my room. Fear of the outside kept me trapped. Can you imagine what it feels like when you perceive the entire world as a threat? Once a normal teen and then .. a nervous wreck.

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My Un-sheltering Experience at a Men’s Housing Center

I’ll never forget that frigid evening in February, walking down the creaky wooden steps that lead to the underground men’s homeless shelter in the northern part of Chicago.

Never had I been truly exposed to a vulnerable population, being that I grew up in a small, privileged, suburban neighborhood that shrouded me from the difficulties pervading all facets of society. As a second year college student, I was volunteering there to fulfill a course requirement, but little did I know that this experience was also going to fill a void in me.

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You’ll never believe what I found in a psychiatric emergency room

College was coming to an end and I needed some type of volunteer or internship experience. I found a program in a hospital where you had to feed patients, as well as keep them company (and out of trouble). The day of the interview my interviewer and I chatted away and it’s true when they say “it’s all about who you know”. Because I knew a good friend of hers she wanted to offer me something better than the feeding program. I left the interview with an opportunity I could never pass up: Shadowing a psychiatric doctor in the psychiatric emergency room. The thought was nerve wrecking and far more than what I bargained for. I tried to keep my mind off my expectations and fears until I was to begin the program. Sleep refused to take me and the hope of escaping my anxiety before my first day remained unmet. And so, I got into my business casual attire the next morning and somehow ended up in front of the hospital. I arrived earlier than expected and decided to find the psychiatric emergency department and get acquainted.

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