Safinaz Elhadary '19

This week's profile is fun, full of life, and new to Behrend! Even though she is only a freshman, Safinaz Elhadary is already starting to pave her own legacy.

Name: Safinaz Elhadary

Major: Economics and Journalism

Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt

Year: Freshman

Relationship Status: Single



Color: Turquoise

Book(s): The Selection Series, Me Before You

Animal: Puppy

Season: Erie’s summer, Dubai’s winter


 If you could travel anywhere right this moment, where would you go?

I would go on a road trip around Europe. I would travel to Spain, Italy, France, and Greece.


What are your hobbies?

I love to paint, it really calms me down and I actually just sold my first painting! I also love reading, especially princess books, and also swimming.


Why did you come to Behrend?

I decided to first come to Behrend because my older brother (Moustafa Elhadary) was here. I was actually accepted to UP but it just seemed so big to me. My graduating class was only 17 people so I thought that coming to Behrend would be a good stepping stone from a school that small in size. I also really wanted my family to settle down here, we actually just recently rented a house to live in.

Where were you living previously before coming to the states?

My family and I have been living in Dubai in the UAE for the past nine years. It is definitely much different here – especially the temperature difference.


Since coming to America, have you experienced any culture shock?

Yes actually, quite a bit. People are very straightforward and to the point here – which is good and bad. There is no beating around the bush and I’ve noticed that many people are very trusting. I have definitely had numerous new experiences, good and bad, but I am loving every minute of my new discoveries.


What is your relationship like with your older brother?

We are very close, he teases me all the time but I tease him right back. I used to cry a lot when he was first gone, but I learned to be able to live without him. I started to come into my own and that is what I want to continue to do here at Behrend.

How does it feel going to the same school as Moustafa?

Safer, like there is always someone here whom I can depend on. It is very scary to go to a new country in general, let alone with knowing no one, so having him here is a great relief. Although, on the other hand I am not really having the “college experience”. Moustafa is so well-known that it feels just like high school where I was known as “Moustafa’s sister”. But at the same time by being his little sister it has helped me meet people and get help a lot easier, so there are both sides to it.


Were you nervous to go to college in a different country?

A lot, I honestly thought it would be like the opening to “Pitch Perfect” my first day – sitting alone, eating alone, and end with me sitting in a corner crying. But then I met a couple of international students, “The Squad”, and found my place. I have also met a lot of Moustafa’s friends who have been extremely nice and friendly so now my nerves are completely gone.


How has the food been since coming here?

At first it was a little strange at school, but it has been progressively getting better. I really love Primanti Brothers and the portions here are enough to feed two people. Another thing I really love are all the sauce options, there are so many flavors of sauces that it really surprised me.


What is it like to still be “living at home”?

I will have to find a balance, but I genuinely don’t think I could ever live that far away without my parents. My mom is my best friend and I tell her absolutely everything, especially the gossip. People may not think I am independent but I am, plus I still get to eat my mom’s cooking this way.


What are your goals for this year?

To find myself. I went through so many phases that I just want to find who I am at the core, the real me. I also want to make closer friends and decrease the culture shock a bit. It is a weird world here but I like it. Another thing I want to do is see my first snowfall, I’m so excited to see real snowflakes and be able to play in it!


What do you want to do once you graduate school?

I know this sounds a bit crazy, but I want to be the president of Egypt and the region. There needs to be a change and more empowered women in office. There is often a stigma, not just in parts of the country but all over the world, that women should only run a household. Women are capable of so much more and I want to break this stereotype by becoming president and making a change.


Lookout Behrend! There is a new Elhadary in town and she is ready to create her own legacy. Who run the world? Girls!