Baton Rouge, Life at LSU, Student Cultures

Loving LSU becoming an El Ghetrify family tradition

El Ghetrify brothers Omar and Ibrahim, from Egypt, discuss their favorite parts of LSU.

Ibrahim El Ghetrify didn’t know much about LSU five years ago when a celebration of his brother’s acceptance broke out in their parents’ Cairo home in the middle of the night.

Even Omar admitted his perspective of the university — about 7,000 miles or 11,000 kilometers away — was limited until he arrived to campus about a month later to begin his college career.

Brothers Omar and Ibrahim El Ghetrify, from Egypt, have fallen in love with LSU.

But the impact LSU has made on both brothers since then was clear as they spent a month together enjoying campus this summer before Omar’s bittersweet departure for graduate school in New York this month.

“LSU has a lot to offer,” Omar said. “From the school spirit that everyone is very enthusiastic about — not just people on campus or people in Louisiana, but people all over the U.S. and all over the world. You always see people saying, ‘Geaux Tigers,’ and everyone’s so happy — you see the enthusiasm.

“And then you see the beauty of campus. It’s so beautiful with the architecture and the greenery and the trees, the live oak trees, and the weather is pretty good year-long. And then the academics is great. Every professor has a lot to offer and they can explain to you in a very interesting way, and you learn something new every class.”

Omar admitted nervousness upon his arrival, but quickly fell in love.

Ibrahim heard the positive stories back home. But his own admiration wasn’t fully cemented until his first visit a few years later when visiting for Omar’s graduation August 2015 with a degree in digital advertising.

“It’s a place that you feel like you’re home — not outside or in a place that you don’t belong to,” the younger El Ghetrify brother said. “LSU makes you belong to this place. After the first week or so, you turn into a Tiger just like other students here.”

He immediately began planning to attend LSU, too.

Ibrahim El Ghetrify learned about LSU from visiting his older brother Omar at college and decided to follow his footsteps to Baton Rouge.

“Having him and my mom and my aunt and great uncle here attending my graduation,” said Omar, who then spent a year as a student services advisor at LSU Global. “I could see the happiness and how proud they are of me graduating from a great university that is well-known and everyone knows what it is and what I can achieve with this degree. I think that made him more enthusiastic to join a great university like that. And his interest in studying economics or statistics, LSU has great programs for economics and statistics.

“So it’s very interesting to see him walk the same path in the next year or two, the same path that I walked here, and enjoy the same campus and the live oaks and the scenery and the beauty that you see every single day and the people that you interact with every single day.”

Ibrahim has indeed noticed many of the same dynamics — a large campus filled with gardens and helpful faculty and professors — already in his exposure to the school.

The brothers even share two of their favorite places, directly across the street from one another.

“My favorite place is the stadium, the football stadium — it’s a very good place,” Ibrahim motioned across the street from in front of Mike the Tiger’s habitat. “It’s actually like you can see a wild tiger, and in the stadium you can see human Tigers.”

Omar laughed: “That’s true. I would say my favorite place would be Mike the Tiger’s habitat — it’s just beautiful to see him walking around the habitat and swimming in the pool. It’s just great to see a wild tiger on campus every day.

“But the spirit inside the stadium is like a whole other thing. Once you sit in the student section, you’re surrounded by 100,000 other people cheering for your team, it’s a whole new feeling. There’s nothing like Tiger Stadium. Back home, the largest stadium is (86,000). It’s not that big at all compared to Tiger Stadium, which is the (seventh) largest stadium in the world. It’s a whole other spirit.”

Omar is thankful for the opportunity awaiting him at Adelphi International, as a graduate assistant residence hall director and master’s student in business administration.

Attending LSU is becoming a family tradition for the El Ghetrify brothers.

But he also knows how much he’ll miss LSU.

And, for that matter, LSU Global.

“I believe LSU Global is a great program because it offers a lot of assistance and a lot of help for international students through their freshman year,” he said. “When you come into a new country, you don’t know anything and you don’t know anyone or your way around, and LSU Global has all of that to offer. It makes life easier, and it makes it more friendly and welcoming. So I’m glad I was part of this program, and I wish I had that experience when I was here as an international student. But I’m glad I’m making a change right now.”

Ibrahim has had a chance to see the program more than other prospective students his age and is eager to take advantage of the services and camaraderie provided.

He hopes to see his adopted Louisiana family again as early as next summer.

“LSU Global is a place that combines people from all over the world, and it helps people to interact with one another,” “The people who work here are very kind, are very good and helpful, and actually it feels like a family. LSU Global is a very good program that could help you reach your potential.”

Check out the close-knit LSU Global family’s iftar meals!

As Omar and Ibrahim pointed out, LSU Global provides a sense of family — even for students and staff who come to Baton Rouge with no previous connections.

The program’s iftar meals during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan are a perfect example.

Learn more about this custom, including the group’s observation, in the blog post below, which features photos and video.

LSU Global students enjoy an iftar meal together during Ramadan



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