Greek of the Week: Dario Abou Rjeili

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated creates all great men and Dario Abou Rjeili is one of them. He is a Spring 2018 initiate of the Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Dario is a Sophomore, Marketing major from Venice, Italy. Aside from his fraternity, Dario often finds himself getting an early start to the day. He enjoys working out, calling his family and friends back home in Italy, and just relaxing listening to music with his friends here at Hampton University. He is also a member of the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program, Hampton’s Sailing Team, and is the Marketing Chair of the American Marketing Association. Do foreign Apes do it better? Let’s find out!

 

HC: What made you choose Hampton University?

DAR: I had a lot of opportunities to go study in London, but the coach of Hampton’s Sailing Team is Italian and he asked me to come and sail for Hampton’s team. I came to HU in March 2016, when I was still in high school, I was here for a week and I liked it. I felt it was a great opportunity to learn the culture. I feel like Hampton is the step before everyone going into the real world and getting jobs.

 

HC: How was it getting used to American culture?

DAR: It was weird; the American culture is very different! The thing that was so hard for me was the social life. In Italy we socialize in so many different ways like in front of a drink, but when I came here I was 19 years old and in Italy I’m legal so I can drink. Right now in Italy, me and you we would be sitting here with a drink. I had to get used to parties where you don’t know the owner of the house and there’s so many little things that in Italy I was used to like being polite. If I was to go to your house I’d find the owner say “Hello, my name is Dario and thank you for inviting me”. Also eating fast food and the food being fast, in Italy that isn’t a thing. If I were to get my food fast in Italy that means they didn’t cook it for me, it was already cooked. So if I ask for pasta and it takes 5 minutes that means it was already cooked and not fresh. It has to take at least 20-25 minutes for a good meal. Back home I sit with a drink for the pasta *laughs*.

 

HC: What are your plans after graduation?

DAR: My plans are to find a job possibly in a warm place like Miami, FL or on the West Coast. I would love to work for a good company or my uncle’s company that distributes food in supermarkets like Walmart.

 

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HC: Do you have a girlfriend?

DAR: I don’t have a girlfriend. It’s been a long time, maybe about 3 years ago since I’ve had a girlfriend. It’s hard to have a girlfriend here because I have my life here and in Italy.

 

HC: What food do you miss the most from back home that you can’t get here? Describe it.

DAR: There’ isn’t really anything that I can’t get here because in America you can find everything. I would say the way things are done is what I miss. In Italy, Alfredo sauce is fake, it’s not Italian. There’s no such thing as Alfredo sauce, or spaghetti and meatballs. So all the small things that are well done in Italy are exaggerated here. Asking for pasta here, they put a lot of things in it, in Italy it’s just a basic nice scoop of pasta and tomatoes sauce. I just miss the food being simple.

 

HC: What made you choose Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? How did your family react?

DAR: I found out about the three main fraternities on campus, one of them that I could never see myself being a part of. I am the kind of guy where if I don’t feel like I can fit in, I won’t do it. I had met a few members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and I really respected and felt close to the members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I feel like Alphas are great men and whether you put them in Europe or wherever they will all succeed and for them to be that great that means someone great had to have picked them. My family knows what I did but they can’t really understand what it is and how much I worked for it.

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HC: What’s one thing you like better in America than back home in Italy?

DAR: The fact that everyone is really supportive. That’s, to me, the best part of America well at least at this school. I don’t really know that much about America because I’ve only been here for two years, but in this coast especially it doesn’t matter if you sell hats, or hair people will support you and that’s great. The love people show you is awesome! Doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, people just love to help others. That’s something that doesn’t happen in Europe.

 

HC: What do you look forward to in Alpha?

DAR: I’m definitely excited to keep the name of the fraternity at this school as high as possible, all the people I’m going to meet, and also to just show people that I’m not in the fraternity randomly. I worked as hard as everybody else. Probably a bit more because I had to learn things in English. I want to make sure the fraternity keeps the image it has and make it even better.

 

HC: Is it true that Italian men love black women?

DAR: Italian men love beautiful women. It doesn’t matter the color or ethnicity we just love beautiful women in general. People always ask me this question and I’m like yeah! How could I come to this school and not like black women.

 

HC: Who takes your Instagram pictures?

DAR: So to be honest, most of my Instagram pictures from like 2 years ago were with the GoPro so I was taking them. Now since we have Portrait mode my friends take my pictures for me.

 

HC: If you were to go home right now how would you describe your fraternity to your friends & family in Italy?

DAR: I tried to describe my fraternity to my friends and family while I was in the process. My best friend kept texting me and I really just tried to explain to him what was going on and why I wasn’t texting him. I just was so focused on my goal. I could best describe it as a great organization and group of people with a mindset that made history. They were important to African American history and are all very successful.  

 

HC: Do you feel like you’re now a role model for other Hampton University international students who may want to join a Greek letter organization?

DAR: I’m a modest guy, I don’t want to be cocky but I feel like I came here and really tried to stick with the other international students because we kind of speak the same language and I think I proved to them that it doesn’t matter if you’re an international student or not you can do anything you want. Who cares if they laugh, if you stay focused and know what you want to do it can happen, just get up and go get it. I really wanted it and they saw how much I wanted it, that’s why I’m here and there is just 7 of us because we showed that we wanted this.

 

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Be sure to follow Dario on Instagram @dariopunto