Naturalization Ceremony

The home of the brave welcomed 23 new citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony at the United States Courthouse in Gulfport.

As the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ filled the room with excitement, the land of opportunity welcomed Egypt native Maha Eldek, India native Falguni Patel, and 21 others from all over the world. “I don’t know how to explain this. It’s been amazing. I’m so happy, so proud,” said Eldek.

Jignesh Patel, Falguni’s husband, said, “It’s a great country. It has great opportunities for everyone who is dedicated to their work and who wants to work hard.”

The naturalization process for Falguni was worth the wait. Her journey began over five years ago with her husband. “We filed a petition for the citizenship. Then we went for an interview in New Orleans. Today, we take the oath.”

Eldek’s inspiration for her four year pursuit of the American dream was her family. Two of her three children are already U.S. citizens and her husband is a professor at Jackson State University. “That’s why we came here. I love America. I love to live here. Everybody should be proud to live here.”

Eldek and 22 other Americans received their certificates. She’s looking forward to her oldest son becoming a citizen and encouraging people currently in the citizenship process. “You can do it. It just takes time. You can do it and live in happiness forever.”

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