Fulbright Austria > Fulbright Forever

Fulbright
Storytelling

Parya Bakhshandeh

"When the former President entered the stage after a long wait we were all beyond excited and thrilled to experience this moment. It was a surreal moment when he came up to us and shook our hands..."

During the presidential election 2016 here in the U.S former President Barack Obama came to the city of Greensboro to support the Democratic Party and their candidate Hillary Clinton in the race for presidency. I did not want to miss the chance to see Barack Obama live and so I went like many other people here to the rally. Of course there was a great crowd and the line was long. One of the organizers came to the group of People I was waiting in line with and asked us if we were interested to stand on the podium right behind the speakers. We took the chance and before we could realize what was happening we were standing on the podium facing the crowd and the cameras broadcasting the speech all over the world. When the former President entered the stage after a long wait we were all beyond excited and thrilled to experience this moment. It was a surreal moment when he came up to us and shook our hands. My family and friends in Austria and other parts of the world saw the speech live on TV and spotted me standing in the crowd behind Obama. Afterwards I received many screenshots of the moment he shook my hands. This experience was the most exciting I had during my stay here and I will probably never forget that I got to "meet" the most popular president of the United States. 

Parya Bakhshandeh is a graduate of the University of Vienna and was an FLTA at UNC Greensboro in 2016-17. Screenshot courtesy of Parya Bakhshandeh.

Vienna South East South Austrian Foreign Language Teaching Assistant