The Survivor of a Bloody Graveyard

By Ameer Rabee  |   From : Upper Marlboro, MD, USA   |   School : International High School at Langley Park

I am Ameer Rabee from the Middle East. As a kid, I wanted to play and enjoy life. I was born in Syria, a country which became a bloody graveyard for the innocent. I didn’t know I would see empty bullets filling my lovely neighborhood. I never thought I would see our blue-sky rain bombs. I am the boy who survived an attack and nearly lost my life at the age of 8. I am the boy who fell to sleep and woke to bullets humming by my broken window. I am the boy who is now used to seeing evil. My eyes flooded over, my lovely people bleeding to death. My brain shakes whenever I remember the dead bodies crashing to a bloody ground. I still dream about dodging bullets. I wanted to remain alive so I could stay with my family and suffer with them. I didn’t want to die and rest in my grave.  My family was shrinking rapidly with no way of saying goodbye. Attending school was not an option for me. I wasn’t lucky to hold a pencil and write my thoughts on paper.  For the favor of holding the presidential chair, the Syrian president tortured his own people who were seeking change and demanding food for their kids. Syrians had one fate and that fate was death.

 I never imagined leaving my country, but it was time. Jordan is where I started my life’s second chapter. Moving wasn’t easy. My family and other desperate humans had to walk in freezing cold to cross the border with no food, no money and light clothing. We walked at night from 1am until sunrise. At some point, I wanted to cry from the cold. I couldn’t feel my fingers. But my dad stopped and placed my hands under his armpits to keep me warm. Knowing that my dad was with me made me stronger. He gave me comfort when we arrived at the border. I was able to go to school, building toward my dream of graduating college and becoming a doctor. I was able to eat peacefully at a table instead of hiding under it. I finally got to sleep peacefully for 8 consecutive hours. Without my dad, I would be buried underground. Money was hard to earn in Jordan. My dad worked in several jobs to provide our family with food and shelter. He faced racist comments while working, blaming him for “stealing the jobs” from Jordanians. My father’s only hope was for us to have a bright future. In Jordan, even citizens with degrees struggle to find work. For three and a half years, we stayed in Jordan with an unknown future. Then, we received an invitation for refugees to come to the United States for a better future. 

On June 6, 2016, we landed in New York. We arrived on the first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. It was hard for us to fast since our new apartment barely had food. When I was little, I thought America was another planet. It turned out to be in the same world, but far away from wars. Life finally smiled at me. I was happy to struggle in learning a new language, it meant I was becoming bilingual. In a different country, now with a lot of opportunities to become my best self, I’m fulfilling my dreams with joy. I have a chance to set an example for my people who are going through similar pain. I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor. I want to help those in need. I am the boy who has seen suffering in front of me, and I want to become a man who saves others, one who makes his family proud.

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