My name is Ruba Al Rubaye, an Iraqi, who has spent her whole life living in different countries that celebrate different cultures, starting from Libya to UAE to Iraq and lastly Canada. I am currently in my second year as a nutrition student at Ryerson University in Toronto.
When I first chose this major as an Arab, I was hesitant whether I would be able to fit in or not since our profession is a predominantly white field. Regardless of what many of you might think, some Arabs are considered white because when I was asked to mark our race, I’ve encountered so many options but nothing that represents my family’s heritage. I would have to choose “some other race” and that feels like it erases my community. In addition, names could stereotype my race, and therefore, I fear my name could become an obstacle when it comes to obtaining higher positions in my major. And to create a more inclusive space, cultural competence should be about gathering professionals from all across the globe.