I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

In my new life, I am a bird.

By Abubakr Alzandani   |   From : Staten Island, NY  |   School : Susan Wagner High School

The first time I came to America it was in 2007. I was only 6 years old so I don’t really remember a lot. It was only to visit my grandma for two months. During that time, I didn’t learn English. We only spoke in Arabic. Then, I went back to my country.

I came back to America in 2015, when I was 14 years old. I came from Yemen. My country is in the south of Asia. Yemen is one of the prettiest countries in the world but because of the problems there it started a war and that’s why we had to leave. I feel bad when I left my country, because I was born there. My country isn’t like America. America is totally different from my country. Besides myself, I came here with my father and my family. On my way to America, my biggest obstacle was that we had a big problem with the airplane’s wheels. The tires were flat as the plane went down before it stopped. Fortunately, nothing bad happened and we all survived.

Who am I in my new life? My new life, I am a bird, who is traveling from one place to another, looking for something. This means two things to me. One is that I could have a new and better life than the one before, which means to live with my family safely, without any war or violence. Another thing that I will learn is the new and important things in my life. Also, I have goals that have been achieved, but not all yet. My goal is that I can learn English first, and I did. I am thankful. My other goal is to finish all the years that are in front of me with good things. Those are my goals in my school.

I changed! I changed a lot. I became a person who can speak English and I reached that goal. I became a person who will never give up. I believed in myself that I can learn and do something by myself. However, I still passed all of my classes throughout the hard times. I want people to know that I am not a person who is going to give up quickly. I want people to know that anyone can reach his or her goal. I want people to know that everyone can make their dreams come true, but not by standing and waiting for it in any event. You need to try and work hard to get to it.

Back in to my country, Yemen, I felt uncomfortable because of the war and the schools there. I was so scared before I came to America, but I have a lot of memories from when I was there. One of my favorite memories is the time when I went on trips with my father, looking at the nice views of villages and mountains. In my country, I just stayed in my room reading funny books and playing PS or anything like that. It made me feel good.

My father, Nassr, always tried to comfort me and my family as much as possible. When the war started, he decided to take us back to America. In my country, we all believe in Allah as a god and Mohammed as his messenger. We all fast during Ramadan, which is the month of Muslims. We all celebrate two days in a year, which is Eid. On that day, we all go to pray first, and then all of my family comes together to have dinner. Where I am from, I mostly say (AL Salam Alaykum) which means peace be upon you or (Alhamed Lil Allah) which mean thanks god or god bless you.

People in my country are teachers, some are sellers, others are mechanics, but most of them are farmers. Last but not least, where I am from the weather is mostly sunny all of the day and chilly as the day ends. But, because of all the trees, the air is very pure. Where I am from, it is very nice, but it had less opportunity than here.

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