Making Minneapolis Home

student
7/22/20

When asked where home is, Muhammad “Taha” Hussain who moved to the United States just last year, pauses. It is a loaded question for someone who has already lived in 3 different countries before his 20th birthday.

Taha was born in Pakistan, living there until he was 9, when his family decided to move to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. “Yanbu is a really small and beautiful city and we lived in the industrial area. I really liked all my neighbors and getting the chance to attend high school, but it was just so small.” 

Taha came to the Twin Cities following the lead of his older brother, a student at the University of Minnesota. His parents wanted to ensure that both of their children had access to quality higher education and a strong sense of community.

“Community is a place where everyone can come together, know each other even if they are different, and make new friends,” said Taha. “I’ve definitely found a strong sense of community at Minneapolis College.”

Currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics, Taha hopes to transfer to the University of Minnesota to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science in the future. “[Math] is challenging, but it’s fun. I can listen to music, zone out and just solve problems.” 

This love for problem solving extends far beyond the classroom. As a student worker with the Student Life Department, Taha commented on how he feels he helps to make a difference on campus. “My work on campus has helped me get to know the resources that are available. I can be more helpful and supportive to our community,” he said. “I can give back some of what I’ve been given.”

Taha’s first year in the United States has not gone exactly how it was envisioned. From the COVID-19 crisis, to the Minneapolis protests, he had no idea these are things he would experience as an international student, though he is thankful he is continually being presented the opportunity to learn something from the surrounding community.

“It’s nice living in the Twin Cities. Being in downtown Minneapolis there is a lot of culture to connect with. Before [COVID-19] I could walk to the art museum after class or I can go to the movie theater. [Yanbu] was just getting movie theaters when I left. I’ve only been here 11 months, but Minneapolis is starting to feel like home.”