The following is from Journeys: A Celebration of the Lives of Refugees & Immigrants. Two seniors from The Blake School interviewed twelve immigrants and refugees through Leaming In Style School.
“Each interview has three components: a story, a picture and a piece of art. We wanted to try to keep the stories as authentic as we could, so they are essentially edited transcriptions of our interviews. Each person has their own voice, opinions, and journey and we hope you see that shine through in our writing. Additionally, you’ll find a photograph in each interview. Not all wanted their face pictured, but each photo captures a part of each person. Lastly, you’ll find a piece of watercolor artwork. Each piece of art is based on a small snippet of the persons story. They usually represent a favorite activity, place or something important or meaningful. You’ll be able to pull out why we chose each subject in the stories.”
When I was six years old, I fled from Somalia with my family and went to Ethiopia. I don’t remember much about Somalia but I know there were lots of problems. There was so much killing and death. I got married in Ethiopia to my husband who is also from Somalia. In Ethiopia, we had six kids together. Life was hard there. I had no job, there was very little water, and barely enough food.
In 2012, we moved to Utah. We were only in Utah for six months. Utah was also hard because I didn’t have many people there who could help me. I also knew no English and finding work was difficult. Even still, I liked it there. I moved to Minneapolis on July 17, 2013. In Minnesota life is good and easy. I like it here. I found a job at a daycare which is perfect because I love working with children. I also am able to learn English at Learning in Style and am now on level two. I’ve been learning English for five years; it’s very hard but I’m getting there. My husband used to go to school at Leaming in Style as well and now he works in a daycare with me. I want to continue to learn English because I like writing and reading. I love stories. I read a lot and sometimes I even write my own.
In the future, I hope my kids will finish middle school and high school and college. My youngest is nine years old and my oldest is nineteen. My daughter, who’s the oldest, wants to be a doctor, and I hope so much that her dream will come true. I want my second-oldest, my son, to be an engineer. But overall, I just want my kids to just be happy. Only my two oldest kids remember Ethiopia, they were eleven and nine when we left. But they like it here very much. All of my kids like school here and speak English so well — they speak English too much! My daughter is graduating from high school this year and she will be going to a university in Minnesota next fall. I’m very proud of her.