University of Florida – Statement of Intent #1&2

Statement of Intent
Please submit two 200-word statements.
Statement of Intent #1
What are the core skills and knowledge you hope to acquire by completing a degree in this major and how do you plan to apply these when you graduate? (Word Limit – 200 words)
Statement of Intent #2
Please provide any other information about yourself that you feel will help this college make an admission decision. This may include work, research, volunteer activities or other experiences pertaining to the degree program. (Word Limit – 200 words)
Background:
Religion: Muslim
Nationality: Indian
Place of Birth: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Date of Birth and Age: 03/20/1988 and 32 years old
Program/Area of Study/Major: BA Anthropology (Transfer Admission)
Personal Statement
After finishing high school, I left home to acquire a sense of how to live and earn on my own. So, I did some odd jobs in Mumbai, Bhopal, Lucknow, New Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur where I learned economic independence and to be self-reliant. This experience gave me my first earnings and a lifelong lesson on how to struggle, survive and live in this world which would have been impossible to learn if I would have lived with my parents under their protection.
In Jaipur, I met a local who is an expert in Indian monkeys. He introduced me to the world of monkeys. Initially, I was intrigued and fascinated by it and I spent time following and observing them. This was quite different from watching a wildlife documentary on TV and it was a very surreal experience. I slowly developed a special interest in Rhesus macaques and Grey langurs. I came to know about their eating, living, and mating habits, intelligence levels, communication, and parental skills. This has inspired me to study anthropology and become a primatologist.
After taking a few anthropology classes, I changed my goal to become a Cultural Anthropologist (Islamic Anthropology or Anthropology of Islam) arose from renewed faith in Islam before that I was barely religious bordering being atheistic/agnostic. My parents who are moderately religious who I saw religiously pray once a week on Friday and fast for a month in Ramadan. Though it is written in Qur’an to pray five times a day and be religious and pure every month.
I used to think like most people post 9/11 we as Muslims are a bunch of egoistic, narrow/closed-minded, self-serving, follow a leader, idiotic, most uncivilized people in the world. These people don’t use their brains as the most valuable asset but act on impulse. These people blame others/the world for their problems but don’t realize they only create problems for themselves. They never take/understand the true meaning of what is written in the Qur’an but see at face value. As a result, Muslims have a bad name and are stereotyped as fundamentalists and extremists. There no such good or bad religion (Islam) but the people who tarnished it. I would like to change this way of thinking by learning the Arabic language which the Qur’an written and understand the deeper meaning of the Qur’an and follow the way of life of Prophet Muhammad (Sunnah) as an example of being a good Muslim and human being. I would like to restore Muslims to true Islam which I feel the present religious’ clerics have not address or paid any attention to the rising disconnect between Muslims and Islam. I also hope and believe that my fellow Muslims all over the world agree with this.
As a Cultural Anthropologist would like to study Muslims all over the world and try to understand, guide, alleviate with the knowledge of religious text Qur’an and anthropology and other allied subjects and applied this to daily life both religious and non-religious matters. I know this idea or thought is ubiquitous and it needs lots of fine-tuning. I also know this task is huge and difficult I will face many hurdles, trials, and tribulations in this journey but I will try my best to bring this to fruition.
Educational Gaps
After finishing high school, I left home to acquire a sense of how to live and earn on my own. So, I did some odd jobs in Mumbai, Bhopal, Lucknow, New Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur where I learned economic independence and to be self-reliant. This experience gave me my first earnings and lifelong lesson how to struggle, survive and live in this world which would have been impossible to learn if I would have lived with my parents under their protection.
In Jaipur, I met a local who is an expert in Indian monkeys. He introduced me to the world of monkeys. Initially, I was intrigued and fascinated by it and I spent time following and observing them. This was quite different from watching a wildlife documentary on TV and it was a very surreal experience. I slowly developed a special interest in Rhesus macaques and Grey langurs.
I came to know about their eating, living and mating habits, intelligence levels, communication and parental skills.
(06/2009-06/2014)
After finishing community college, I had to come back to India as my paternal grandmother had expired due to complications from pneumonia and old age. I had to stay back to take care of my parents as they were suffering from dengue at the same time and for moral support. A year later my maternal grandmother also expired she had a heart attack in her sleep. I was taking care of the overall well-being and health of my parents as they were grieved stricken due to the demise of their mothers respectively.
(07/2017-present)

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