I would like to tell you my story of struggle as an Arab Muslim Mathematician during and after finishing my graduate studies. First of all, let me introduce myself: My name is Mohammed Kaabar, and I am from Gaza Strip. I came to State of Washington to study both Bachelor and Master of Science in Mathematics. I selected Washington state out of many U.S. states I got accepted to because Washington is a beautiful state and I always hear that Washington is the state of diversity and equality. I was so excited to live in this state. I studied and received all my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Washington State University (WSU) - Pullman, WA, USA. During my studies at WSU, I had a record of several academic achievements and service to professional societies. I wrote two math books in linear algebra and differential equations and I posted them on my website and other professional websites for free to help all students worldwide learn and study math for free because I believe that education should be always free to anyone willing to learn and study. In addition, I served as an editor for the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Graduate Student blog, member of math editorial board at Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT II) which is a program of the California State University System partnering with educational institutions, professional societies, and industry, technical program committee member and reviewer for several local and international conferences in Applied Math, Physics, and Engineering, and I am also the founder of an educational website known as Mohammed Kaabar Website that contains my math courses taught at WSU, projects, free math books, and free online courses in mathematics and electrical engineering.
During my studies at WSU, I noticed that administrative and faculty members do not care and appreciate my record of achievements because I am an Arab Muslim, and if the academic achievements came from a Muslim, then in their minds are not achievements, while if they hear an American student just attended a conference, all news will be featuring him or her. In Washington State, I faced all kinds of racism from ignorant and rude people with the minds of hate and Islamophobia. I had been treated bad in my education, employment, health care, and other life situations due to the fact that I am an Arab Muslim living in their society. I understand the fact that all those people are claiming as religious people, but if they are really religious as they claimed, they would treat everyone the same regardless of their religious backgrounds and races because all religions prohibited the racism and supported the equality. In addition, those racist people tried several times to convince me to convert from Islam to Christianity by adding more pressure on me in terms of money and jobs. I wonder where is the freedom of religious belief disappeared. I love and respect all religions regardless of the difference between each one, and I never hated any person in my life. I am so sad for what was and is happening to me before and right now. After my graduation on May 15, 2016, I got rejected from all the teaching positions I applied for in this state. The reason I applied for jobs in Washington is because I loved this state so much although what happened to me from the racist people in this state, but I said to myself not all people are the same. In every town worldwide, there are bad and good people. According of my experience as a Muslim from Gaza Strip in the State of Washington, I have seen all colors of racism and ignorance especially from the university and department that I dedicated all my life to serve them. For example, I applied to all open positions in mathematics at my university (WSU), and when I ask them about my application, my department chair and other administrative people always ignore my emails because they do not want to support the statement of diversity and equality by hiring me in their university. Even I contacted the WSU interim president regarding my issues and struggles to find a job, and he just did not care much about what I said, as well as, he told me to talk with my department chair to help me. I sent many emails to my department chair, and he decided not to respond to any of my emails. This is just an example of how awful they are in treating and dealing with me.
Although I always read and know that Washington is a supportive state to the diversity and equality in education and employment, but this is true for everyone except me because I am from Gaza Strip, and what I faced through my life at Washington proves that. In this state, I suffered from several health issues due to the racism and conspiracy I faced during and after finishing my studies, and I had been threatened psychologically several times by their racist expressions such as "This is not your country, and you will be deported from our country". All the bad people I faced they came from Europe to United States, so they do own United States as a country only dedicated for them, and United States is the country of freedom and equality. At least those people had countries before coming to United States, but for my case I do not have a country. Therefore, my achievements will support the U.S. education and economy. I have been admitted to the emergency room twice in Pullman Regional Hospital. I remember one time that I was very sick, and I could not walk due to chest pain and high fever, and this hospital did not give me any pain relief or medication to help me, and they let me go without any help. This is an example of how racist and rude the bad people I faced in this small town (Pullman) of Washington State. They still need from me to pay them the emergency room charges (about $900). They did not even give me full financial assistanship (they gave me only 52%) to cover my emergency room charges, while in Idaho, the hospital gave 100% of financial coverage on all emergency room charges and expensive medical tests (about $5000). In U.S. states like Idaho and Nevada, I have been respected and treated well as a Muslim from Gaza Strip, and the above example proves that. That is the reason I totally respect and love Idaho and Nevada because their people were really nice with me.
Since I had been rejected from all teaching positions, I decided to travel to all western U.S. states to look for and apply for teaching jobs in mathematics. Therefore, I traveled to California, Oregon, and Nevada. I would like to share my experience in each of the above three states. In California, I faced several racists people due to the same fact that I am an Arab Muslim, and they have anti-Muslim minds, as well as, they do not want to hire "terrorists" in their teaching jobs because there is a prejudice in their racist minds that any "Muslim" is a "terrorist", and this "terrorist" wants to take their jobs. Most bad and racist people in Washington are originally from California, therefore, they share the same concept of racism. In Oregon and Montana, I applied for almost thirty different teaching positions in mathematics at their institutions, and they never reviewed my supplemental documents for my applications, and I received some emails from some institutions about not selecting me as a finalist. The reason for that is that both states are strict religious states that treat "Muslims" in general as "terrorists", and they hire only Christians. According to my experience with them I can say and summarize that by saying: If an Arab wants to get a job in these states, he/she has to be Christian to get hired in their institutions. Therefore, in some of their phone interviews with me, they were rude and racists by asking questions such as "What do you want to do in our town?" and "What is the reason for applying to our small town?". These questions imply the amount of Islamophobia and racism that they were born and raised on them. In Nevada, the people were nice and respectful except one case. This case was a Latino family, and I rented a room in their house and I paid $550 for the first month. The owner of the house is a branch manager at Greater Nevada Credit Union, Reno, NV, and she was turning the air conditioner off every day in the hot weather of Sparks, NV. After suffering from the bad treatment of this family to me, I told her that I want to leave the house after staying only a few days, and I want to get a refund with deposit for the remaining days. She is racist and she lies in everything. I ended up leaving her house without getting refund or deposit. I am now pretty much a homeless man, and I have no enough money to support myself. I am suffering from several health issues, and I cannot go to any hospital to get treated because I am not employed and, therefore, I do not have health insurance. I am not able to eat food due to the lack of money. My father is a teacher of Arabic, and he spent all the money he had on my education, so no one can support me and get me on my feet from this horrible situation that I am facing right now. I am currently volunteering as a math consultant and math editor for two non-profit organizations. Although I am in a horrible situation, I am paying to get wireless connection so I can work on my volunteer jobs. I hope people will support me and save my life from this situation that I am facing right me. Therefore, I believe that I will not have a job for ever after graduating from Washington State University.
In conclusion, it is really difficult to find people who appreciate and support my extraordinary record of academic achievements. I have noticed that no one cares about me although I am always supportive to the U.S. education and U.S. scientific community. Once I get some help from generous people, I will try my best to achieve my future career goal which is to start a non-profit educational organization in U.S. in order to provide all students in U.S. and worldwide with free online educational services in mathematics, and to provide them with free high-quality math textbooks because I have noticed that many people in U.S. cannot afford the costs of post-secondary education, and even those who can afford these costs, they still cannot afford additional costs such as textbooks and tutoring services. I already started with the half way of my goal by providing free soft copies of my math textbooks and free online math courses for universities, community colleges, and other academic institutions to help all U.S. students study and learn math for free. I hope my university (WSU) will remember that I dedicated my life to serve them not only by my academic achievements, but also by my community service when I volunteered as a driver for their Women's Transits program to prevent the incidents of sexual assault in their community. I will continue supporting U.S. education and scientific community with my achievements to make U.S. the greatest country in the world.