Meet Your Neighbor: Osama Abdalla

I am originally from Khartoum, Sudan. My father is a diplomat, and when I was three months old, my family moved to Pakistan, then to Dubai, then to Morocco. After each assignment, we’d go home to Sudan and wait for the next move. My fondest memories are from Morocco. I thought the cities there were so beautiful, and it’s where I learned to play soccer and speak French.

I grew up playing soccer, but when I moved here I realized basketball is the thing. I fell in love with the sport and now I’m very passionate about it. Every time I’m in a bad mood I play basketball and forget about everything that’s worrying me. Four years ago I moved a block away from QCH’s Evening Teen Center in Forest Hills. Now, I’m pretty much there every day. The Program Director connected me with QCH’s Youth Employment Services and now I work at the Teen Center, which is great for my resume. I was also just accepted into college where I plan to study computer science. I'm creating a life for myself in Queens.

My father is my hero. Growing up in Sudan, he had to work very hard to become a diplomat. I know I make him and my mother proud, and that I am setting an example for my four younger siblings. I have a lot of responsibility as the oldest. Whatever I do, they’re going to look up to me. That’s why I focus on my academics and show everyone respect. Those are our family values, no matter where in the world we live.

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