Transcribed by: Holly Andrews, World Relief Seattle ESL Instructor
A refugee’s journey to America and first day is something most will remember for the rest of their lives. It is a day of change, a day of many new sights and sounds accompanied with feelings ranging from hope and excitement to fear and fatigue. This story is about one young man’s journey to America and his reflections on arriving to his new home on his first day in Kent, Washington.
“Hi, my name is Thair, I want to tell you about my journey to America. My native country is Iraq. I fled the country because of war and the troubles within the country due to the lack of peace. I spent time in Jordan before coming to the United States. The day I left Jordan, I flew to Turkey with my brother and a friend. We had to wait many hours in the airport in Turkey. I was already tired from traveling. My friend was able to sleep, but I couldn’t sleep because I can’t sleep on the floor—which was where we could rest for a while before our flight to America. When I arrived in the US, I couldn’t believe I was actually here! I told myself ‘wake up, maybe this is just a dream’. When I realized this journey to the US really happened, it’s not a dream, I became so happy. When I arrived in Seattle, my caseworker picked me up to bring me to my apartment. My apartment is good. I don’t want to be a rich man. I don’t need a lot of things. I have already received two valuable things which are peace and freedom.”