By Saffanah T. Moualla, English Language Program Student
Saffanah won the Third prize for this essay in the English Language Program Writing Contest. Students were encouraged to submit a writing that will give joy and happiness to the readers. They all wrote this in a very short period of time and did a wonderful job!
This picture means a lot to me. I took it in my first year in Pittsburgh during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. The summer in this city lasts usually for only two months or less, and I spent it back home with my family that year. That is why there is no part of summer for this tree in this picture.
I loved that tree so much, and I missed it since we moved to another house. It is a symbol of strength, pleasantness, and stability of all seasons. It was a very kind and loyal neighbor for me. In the morning, the birds’ sounds woke me up singing around the tree. In the afternoon, the tree swayed with lovely breezes. This airflow always pushes away the negativity and provides us a lot of pleasantness, warmness, and fragrance of nature. In the evening, it was full of calmness and kindness as a lovely mother carrying her son gently and looking at her other children from time to time until she gets assured that they are in a deep peaceful sleep.
My story with this tree is a small part of my story with Pittsburgh. This story began two years ago when my husband received a letter from Pittsburgh University stating that he had been admitted to the University. After celebrating and rejoicing, we decided to drive from Monroe, a small city in Louisiana state, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We arrived at night and it was the beginning of spring. The trees had not bloomed yet at that time. My first impression of Pittsburgh was strange and very complex. Those tall buildings and sparkling towers look like pieces of a mirror scattered in the sky. It was one of the most magnificent and majestic views that gives me a feeling of joy and prestige at the same time. On the other hand, I saw a lot of intertwined bare branches covering hills and plateaus, which exemplify most of the geographical composition of this city. We immediately started to look for a rental house. In the meantime, my husband contacted his adviser to ask her about good neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Her advice was to get
away from Pitt campus, Oakland, and the areas around them, as much as we could. She also suggested a couple neighborhoods such as Aspinwall and Mount Lebanon. We chose to live in Aspinwall, and we stayed there for a year, which was one of the most peaceful and quiet years that I have had in my life.
As the mother becomes more attached to her child over time, we became related to Pittsburgh. We love the contradictions in this city which is hard to find anywhere else. When you visit the city for the first time, you will get disturbed. How people from different religions and variable races, can live an equal and peaceful living. They coexist with each other wonderfully, representing humanity in its deepest sense. Curiously, I noticed a lot of breathtaking street graffiti. I am impressed how those graffiti are spread around the city, in different neighborhoods and districts of the city, demonstrating the positive diversity phenomenon in the city. I wish that I could have the opportunity to have an album that gathers all that wonderful graffitis. Finally, I will always remember how Pittsburgh had taught me how Art could combine different cultures together