Volume 14 No. 1

Fall, 1999

Leaving Your Homeland and Coming to the U.S. Is Difficult
by Safiya Khalid
It was in late of 1998 when my family decided to move to the United States. I considered myself the luckiest girl in the universe. I was going to see a whole new world and new people. But when it came time to leave my best friends and relatives I changed my idea. Even now I can’t forget saying that last goodbye to people I loved and cared about.
Zakia, a senior at Blair High School felt happy and thanked Allah. “It was a good chance for me to have a better education and to see my brother whom I haven’t seen since I was three years old,” Zakia said.
This is Zakia's fourth year in Blair now. She admits that her first day at school was a nightmare for her. “I was scared to death. I felt that everyone was looking at me. Everyone was strange to me.”
Since she couldn’t speak that much English it was hard to understand what other people were saying. “Everyone was speaking very fast. I couldn’t catch what they were saying. For two months I felt so lonely. I was quiet and shy to speak to anyone.”
Many students who come from other countries look for people from the same place they came from. But it was difficult for Zakia. “It was hard. I couldn’t find anyone from Somalia to talk with. But now I made friends from different countries. But it's not as many as I used to have in my country.”
Language seems to be the major problem to a new student in the U.S. Some students feels frustrated and disappointed for not speaking enough English. Tesfay is a new student in Blair this year. He came from Ethiopia and he has been in the country for six months only. He came to this country to learn and also to live with his father.
“It was fine because I wanted to have a better education and have a lot of information that I didn’t know before,” he said. But the U.S was strange to him at first. “I didn’t know the country and I knew little English. But now I like it. It's a nice country,” he said.
Tesfay added that this country is very comfortable. “There is no school bus in Ethiopia, ” he said. But Tesfay used to have more friends in Ethiopia than in the U.S. because it's easier to talk to people there. “We speak the same language. But here I can’t speak English very well,” he explained.
In Blair there are many students who left their countries and the people they love, just like Zakia, Tesfay, and me. Some want to have a better future. Some want to live with their families here. We all have difficulties we face. But giving up is something most of us refuse. No matter how bad a time we meet, we are trying and working hard for our futures.

Copyright Silver International 1999.