PHD Doctorate Religion, Turkish

At 24, I was still a legal minor when the United States occupied Iraq. But I noted this political development as highly significant, for me, since I see the U.S. as a Judeo-Christian power and Iraq as a Muslim country bordering my own, Turkey. I have been selected by the Turkish government to learn how to become a sort of ambassador of peace, given the way in which the religious composition of the Middle East both gives rise to and propels political conflict. In addition to my exam scores, I was probably selected for this scholarship largely as a result of my facility with language, Arabic (fluent reader) and Farsi (a little), but especially English. I have always excelled at English. Still struggling every day, living in English is becoming more natural.

My application to XXX, XXXX university for diversity, has special merit because, in some ways, I represent the Turkish people to the West. Turkish people want to become part of Europe, and have relations with America in the same that the European Union has relationships with America. A stridently secular military bolsters a tradition of secularism that resists domination by Turkey's Muslim majority. As a Muslim woman I am an excellent candidate to become a peacemaker, both at home and at the international level, such as with an international organization that is devoted to the vigilance of human rights in Turkey and other Asian countries. My friend helps so much with this essay, helping me to put all of my thoughts together into coherent English. English has been my greatest struggle, to learn how to speak English like Americans is enormously difficult. But now we at least understand each other better and better and I even laugh a lot.

I have come very close to the kind of exam scores that your program is looking for and I ask for special consideration as a result of my highly developed language skills in Arabic as well as English (in addition, of course, to Turkish). I got 350 verbal score for GRE and I got it in December. I will take the exam again at the beginning of March. My IBT TOEFL is 83 and it will improve soon, I promise, as soon as I can take the exam again. I have gotten so much better since I took this exam. My mind has just been undergoing an English explosion from deep immersion and my confidence level has also risen.

I am passionately enthralled with Christianity, history, Christianity and Society, and the Psychology of Religion. I see Muslim-Christian dialogue and interfaith worship as of critical importance to our future as a global society and I want to learn everything that I can to promote inter-religious dialogue and faith. I am also very conscious of myself as a woman. I am saddened by what I have learned about the patriarchal brutalities and barbarities that have been committed against women in history and continue to take place in the name of religion, especially Western Religion. A liberal, progressive, Muslim woman in search of sharing with my Christian sisters and brother the construction of mutual understandings, I admire Gandhi and I am deeply interested in Hinduism. Like Gandhi, I see all religions as true. I too want to be a Jew, a Christian, and a Hindu as well as a Muslim. I feel very strongly that XXXX is the perfect match for my interests; it is where my heart is. Making peace is so central to your mission, and the description of your treatment of religion in its many manifestations is exactly what I am looking for. I look forward very much to sharing with you the exploration of our common and distinct beliefs and practices and the way that they are all intertwined with our cultural identities and understandings. I want to thank you for your consideration of my application.

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