OCC’s New Citizens

OCC student Faris Shaalan (center) was sworn-in as an American citizen during a ceremony in Storer Auditorium. His daughters Dunya (left) and Midia (right) are also OCC students and new American citizens.

Storer Auditorium was transformed into a patriotic courtroom when the College hosted a Naturalization Ceremony November 15. Fifty-one candidates from 21 countries became United States citizens. New York State Acting Supreme Court Judge Michael Hanusczak presided over the ceremony. Judge Hanusczak is a former adjunct professor at OCC and his four children all earned degrees from the College.

Several of the new citizens are either current or former OCC students. Sarah Robin is a 2017 graduate of the Food Service Management program and was the first restaurateur-in-residence at “With Love,” OCC’s teaching restaurant located at 435 North Salina Street. Robin is a native of Pakistan who came to the United States four years ago. During the ceremony she read “I Am The American Flag.”

Also naturalized was OCC student Faris Shaalan, formerly of Iraq. His daughters, Dunya and Midia are also students here who became citizens in October. During the ceremony Fairs Shaalan was the proud recipient of a United States flag which previously flew over the U.S. Capitol building. The flag was generously donated by Congressman John Katko.

Two other new Americans also have OCC connections. Current student and Photography major Hassan Nassif Jassim from Iraq was naturalized as was Ammar Hadi Mahmood who earned a degree in Business Administration in 2016.

The Naturalization Ceremony was presented in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Americanization League of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

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