Ohio feels like home for well-traveled Stark student

Sarah Lelonek

Mina Manjouna, a student at Kent State’s Stark campus, is the type of person who likes Ohio’s weather.

She likes how the rainy and snowy days which some believe plague northeastern Ohio give her the opportunity to cuddle up with a cup of hot chocolate, bowl of soup and a good movie.

But she also likes the weather in Syria, Egypt, Texas and Poland.

Manjouna’s parents’ work schedule has kept her family on the move, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Despite being born in Cairo, Egypt, she calls Syria her home. She has spent 10 of the past 20 years of her life abroad.

Of all the places Manjouna has lived, however, leaving Ohio was the first time she ever felt homesick.

“It’s sad leaving, but I get to meet new people. It helps me broaden my perspective,” Manjouna said.

Perhaps this is because Ohio feels like her home away from home. In Syria and Egypt, she doesn’t feel like she fits in, but that’s not the case in Ohio.

Manjouna said she likes to spend her days in Ohio wandering in Chapel Hill Mall, watching romantic comedies such as Love Actually and keeping up on the latest celebrity gossip on www.thesuperficial.com.

She also likes to help others out: During the holidays she hands out sandwiches and soup at local soup kitchens, and in the summer she reads stories to children and serves as a hospital volunteer.

Her philosophy: “Do whatever you can do to help someone.”

This is one of the main reasons Manjouna chose nursing for her major, which she said will allow her help others, have a job that’s in demand and be able to travel the world.

And traveling is precisely what Manjouna plans to do.

This summer she wants to return to Aleppo, Syria, to visit her home as well as see Turkey – she said she likes the idea of Turkey being Middle Eastern and European.

But for now, this travel-hungry girl is OK with her job at her uncle’s pizza place, watching TV and enjoying the sometimes-dreary northeast Ohio weather.

– Sarah Lelonek