Dr. Ajlan Al Zaki first came to the US in 2005 to study at Indiana’s Purdue University. While completing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and was flown from Abu Dhabi to receive treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The team at MD Anderson made his grandfather “feel like he had a second home in the US.” This experience convinced Al Zaki that he wanted to add “MD” next to “PhD” and become a medical doctor. Dr. Al Zaki’s story would come full circle over a decade later as he returned to MD Anderson, this time on the provider-side as a hematology oncology fellow. Seventeen years after first arriving in the US, the Emirati doctor shares what has kept him stateside and how the UAE-US relationship, including innovative medical collaboration, continues to grow.