My real name is Rana Khalil Hijazi.
At 2:30 AM on the 21st of June in 1997, I was born in Hamra, Beirut to Noujoud Hassan Merhi (my mother) and Khalil Kassem Hijazi (my father) — both Lebanese.
I am from one of the oldest countries in the world, a country with beautiful diversity: Lebanon. According to the National Geographic, “legend has it that the Lebanese capital of Beirut was rebuilt from the ashes of war up to seven different times, making it an urban phoenix in mythology.” Check my travels tab for more on my travel experiences within Lebanon!
At two months old I moved to Kampala, Uganda where my father worked. While both my parents are from Kafra, Lebanon which is a small village in the south of Lebanon, my dad left to Kinshasa, Congo to work at 15 where he lived until he met my mother and my mother grew up in Beirut for a big part of her life. I lived in Kampala for 18 years until I graduated, and spent most of my summers visiting Lebanon — particularly spending time at my grandparents’ homes in Kafra.
For the first 8 years it was just me and my little brother Moody (Mohammed Khalil Hijazi), until my little brother Juju (Jawad Khalil Hijazi) was born in 2005.
Growing up in Kampala, Uganda was probably the most phenomenal and unique gift that Allah could have ever blessed me with. Uganda, also known as the Pearl of Africa, has a wonderfully accepting and loving vibe that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Check my travels tab for more on my travel experiences within Uganda!
I was lucky to meet many amazing people growing up there as I attended different schools and changed environments within the country itself. I went to Kissyfur International Day-Care before starting school, and completed my first few years up until Year One at Ambrosoli International School Uganda. Between Year One and Four I attended Rainbow International School Uganda. Finally at Year Five until graduation, I was at Kampala International School Uganda.
After graduation I moved to Plattsburgh, New York where I have been living for the past three years studying at SUNY Plattsburgh. I am currently majoring in Biology (B.S.), with minors in Chemistry and Nutrition. This was really a big step for me, especially being the first person in my family to go to America to pursue higher education! New York City was never a place I thought I would even get close to until I was making my own big bucks, so waking up everyday here truly is a blessing.
For now, this is what I have to share about me and my life!