Moving to United States The most memorable event in my life was when we moved out from Russia to a country that changes lives and is known as a dream land called the United States of America. When we sat on the airplane that was going toward the United States in August of 2004, we knew our lives are going to be changed in the way we always wanted them to. After twelve years of not going to school and being discriminated by Russian citizens, this moving to a new country was the most amazing, not just in my life generally, but for my entire family as well.
The war started in Kabul, Afghanistan in July of 1994; moving to Russia was the only choice for my family to be safe even though we knew we would face a lot of difficulties. I was only four years old when my father and my mother took me the youngest in the family at that time, three of my brothers, and two of my sisters to Moscow, Russia. On our way to the train that was going toward Russia, we lost my fourteen year old brother.
This accident almost stopped us from moving out from the country, but my father made the right choice either to look for his lost son or lose all of us, so we had to move on. When we finally arrived to Moscow, Russia in August of 1994, we did not have any money or a place to stay. My father remembered that he had a friend who had been living in Russia for twenty years already; maybe he could help us out for now to find a place to stay. He called him within three hours of our presence to Moscow and asked him if he could come and help us out.
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After an hour, he arrived, and he took us to his house and he was very happy of meeting my father after twenty years. We stayed at his house for three months. Four months later my father borrowed some money from his friend, and we opened our small business where we were selling leather jackets just to make some kind of money to eat and pay the rent. Nine months later, my father tried to take us to school, but they did not accept us because we did not have any documentation that would allow us to go to school because we were illegal in the country.
It was very hard and difficult for our father to see us not going to school and not getting the education that we needed for our futures; we even barely could go outside because of the citizens of that country would discriminate you and judge you by your skin color. One day my father went to the immigration center in Moscow and asked them if we could apply for citizenship or some kind of documentation that would allow his children to go to school. The Russian immigration center denied the request at the time because of some private reason that they did not want to tell my father.
Five years passed and we still could not go to public schools or be legal in the country. My father tried it again and the Russian immigration center gives us the documentation that would allow us to live in the country but it did not allow us to go to school. Then one morning my older brother talked to my father, and he claimed that he does not want to live in Russia anymore without education and that he wants to move to Holland with his friends. My father was very upset and at the same time lost that he is right for how long are we going to be living like this.
After three years of my brothers moving to Holland, my father decides to move to Sweden because that was the only country at that time that would accept immigrants and give them the right documentation to live in the country. It was very difficult for him to leave us in the country where the danger was around us every day, but he knew he must do something for his children to be able to go to school and live like the normal children do. In August of 1999 he arrived in Sweden, and the Swedish immigration center gave him temporary documentation to live in the country legally until they decide if he is eligible for citizenship.
Very excited and happy our father called us and told us that he got the documentation to be legal in the country of Sweden. When we heard that, we thought we going to move to Sweden very soon and that we going to be together, but the Swedish immigration center asked us to wait a couple of years then we might move in. We waited two years and nothing happened, our father was very sad and confused about what he could do now. At the same time, he knew there was nothing he could do; it was all up to the immigration center of Sweden to decide our future.
Then one day, it was our Holliday called Eid, my mother had her friend with her children over at our house to have a dinner with us, and she told her that they are about to move to United States the next month. My mother was very happy and excited for her friend and asked her how she did it. My mother told her that my fathers had been in Sweden for five years now and still nothing was happening. My mother’s friend told her she needed to apply at the United States immigration center that was located in Moscow and try to see if we would get accepted.
Then the next day January of 2004 my mother and I went to the United States immigration center, and we applied for the permanent residence ship to any state. After two months, we received a call from the United States immigration center that we are scheduled for an interview; we all were very excited and happy that we might move to United States, to a country that is known as the dream land and freedom. When we give our interview the person who was interviewing us asked us why we wanted to go to the United States.
The answer was very simple to all of my family; it was education, freedom from being discriminated because of your skin color, and just to live in peace. After our interview, he told us, “I will see you guys in America” That moment was one of the best moments in my live and I do not think I could ever forget it. We all cried, and he told us it will take three months for them to do our paper work. When we received our plane tickets to New York, we were amazed and very excited about moving to a country where we never imagined moving in to. It was Sunday morning when we arrived in New York City International Airport.
It was very hard for us to believe that this was really happening to us we were in America, a place where no one hates you, a place where they will allow you to go to school, and you can be who you are. Our lives changed after arriving in San Diego California, good things started to happen in with us. When we arrived here, there was a very kind gentleman at the airport who met us. He introduced himself as our case worker. We did not know what a case worker really meant, but what we did know that he was the only person who could help us.
That very kind gentleman who was our case worker took us to school and got us an apartment. Two years later we found our brother after thirteen years who got lost at the time of our moving from Afghanistan. People have been saying that the United States of America can change people’s lives, and they were right. It changed our lives, and it is a great country where everything is possible if you try. My entire family and I always had hope in our hearts; we knew nothing can be done if you do not try and if you do not have hope for a better future.
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