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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I had never seen so many white people before

By Hamed  |   From : New York, NY  |   School : Susan Wagner High School

I believe that my story about coming to America is very common but with a bit twist. I came here in 2006 with my dad, mom, sister, and my twin brother. I believe it was 12 am in Pakistan when my dad woke me up and said we have to take our flight to America. It was kind of a funny story because I said; can’t we go tomorrow because I wanted to sleep. Then my mom laughed and got me ready. I wasn’t that excited or nervous to get on the plane because I been on one a few times before. We got to the airport around3 or 4 am I believe so because I heard the morning prayer sound from the airport and that’s usually at 4 am.

A 7-year-old at the airport at 4 am in the morning I truly felt great because my whole family was with me and we were going someplace new. After we got checked in and said goodbyes to our relatives who came to drop us off we went into the waiting room. We got on the plane and the first thing I wanted to do was watch t.v because I saw this square shape box in front of me and I couldn’t help it. But I had no idea how to turn it on and operate it. Luckily there was a boy 16 years old. Who was a very good and kind hearted person? He was traveling with his grandma to Manchester which I didn’t know at that time. All I knew was that everybody was going to America.

So the boy turns on the t.v and I and Abdullah who are sitting together start watching the t.v. The best part of that whole experience was that whatever I asked that Boy, he stood from his seat and came to show us how to do it. Finally, we stopped at Manchester and you wouldn’t believe me if I told that a 7 year old didn’t sleep for 8 hours straight and watched t.v and drank tea the whole trip.

When we went into Manchester United international airport I asked my dad that were we America and he said no this is England we have to stay here for 2 hours. I had no problem with that. I could just keep on staring at these white people that I have never seen before and these great big buildings outside. But you know there’s a saying that everything that glitters is not gold. Well, same goes for our stay in Manchester. The only reason we were staying there for 2-3 hours was because we could have repeated check by the airport security. Which was total hell because I don’t get the purpose of keeping us in these big lines and checking us four times.

After all that checking for no reason at all, we finally got back on the plane. I was waiting for that boy we met early but he didn’t come. I asked my mom who was talking to her his grandma earlier and my mom said that they lived here in Manchester. I was honestly really sad but hey he thought me how to turn and operate the t.v that’s all I need and may god bless him. We landed in America around 3 pm. We did all the checking out and stuff and came out at 7 pm!!!!!!!. They kept us inside for 4 hours straight and after I couldn’t wait to go home and just sleep for weeks. But no my dad had different plans and he took us to his friend’s house and we ate there and then came to our house which seemed really different from the way I imagined it.

When I started school in Staten Island I didn’t really expect to make friends anytime soon. My dad dropped me off on my first day of school. I got in line my class line and went into class and sat next to this kid named Lamar. He was very friendly and I accidentally copied his name on my notebook because I didn’t know what to write and then he told me that I was supposed to write my name on the top of the page and not his. He laughed and so did I because I did kinda understand when he said that I wrote his name. I and Lamar became very good friends done the years. One embarrassing incident that happened to me in that school was that I slept during a fire drill and when the teacher came to wake me up after the fire drill she asked me why didn’t I exit the building. I couldn’t reply because I didn’t know how to in English so they brought another student who spoke Urdu and then she translated to the teacher that I didn’t know what to do. So, the teacher said alright but be careful next time. Never after that have I ever slept through a fire drill so I guess you learn something new every single day.

Finally, as of today, I am truly grateful for this country and what it has given me. There’s isn’t a country in this world greater and more diverse than America. Although I and my brother have experienced racism but come on who hasn’t but after all every day is a new day and I

love this country and I won’t give it up for anything. I will stay here till
the day I die. And I am going to do everything in my power to make sure this country is easy and comfortable for other kids coming here from different countries around the world. I want to make sure they have their rights and they aren’t to be discriminated against. America was made for everyone and everyone is equal here. We are free to express ourselves and our opinions. We have built bridges and closed gaps between us. These politicians cannot separate us by hate and by building walls. We share love with each other and that can never be taken away. In the end, love is love is love is love is love and cannot be swept aside.

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