Alaa Bagadeem (who goes by LuLu) is from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. She grew up in Saudi Arabia but spent her summers at her grandmother’s house in Istanbul, Turkey. In Saudi Arabia she would often hang out at the Hyatt Hotel by the beach in her hometown – Jeddah. The cafe at the Hyatt overlooks the ocean and King Fahd’s Fountain, an 853 feet tall fountain above the Red Sea– the tallest fountain in the world! She and her friends would go to the Hyatt to have coffee and her favorite dessert-Nutella chocolate mouse.
When Lu Lu decided to come to the U.S., she had already traveled to Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She wanted to see the U.S. and felt that coming to ELC would be a perfect opportunity to study and travel but also have some fun. Since arriving at ELC, Lu Lu has traveled all over the U.S. She loves exploring the architecture of different buildings and experiencing the culture of different cities. “The East Coast and the Mid-West are so different than the West Coast!” she told me. “I love how everything here is so simple. People seem to be open-minded, relaxed, and more athletic than other place I have been.”
Lu Lu would like to begin work on creating a successful career and a family after she leaves ELC. Once she leaves ELC she is planning on getting her master’s degree in Chemistry to fulfill her dream to open her own bakery. “I would call it Lu Lu’s Bakery!”, she has said. Lu Lu has already made a Lemon Meringue Pie for her host family. “Lemon Meringue Pies is my host dad’s favorite. His mom used to make the pies for him until she passed away recently, so I thought it would be nice to bake it for him.”
LuLu has a lot of respect for Bill Gates. She wrote this about him: “One of the characteristics that I value in Bill Gates personality is his persistence. The process of creation and accomplishment is to have a vision of what you want to accomplish, develop that into a passion, work on the details, and then execute with drive, determination, persistence, consummate skills, and positive attitude. Gates followed that process continually. A dream, if accompanied by a strong belief and hard work, and based on commitment to struggle without ceasing, will give great results. You have to listen to your inner voice and continue persistently moving ahead even in the face of rejection, disappointment or any other obstacle that one might face.”
Lu Lu’s dreams and passion for the world are inspirational. We are thankful to have LuLu at ELC and wish her luck in all her adventures around the world!