America is a country of challenges and big dreams

A photo of Bakhshan Abdulla with his family: America is a country of challenges and big dreams.

America is a country of challenges and big dreams. Coming to the United States of America was a great moment in my life.

First time when I entered America, I was happy and very excited. I will never forget that moment. It was January of the year of 2012 when we first landed at the O’Hare airport, Chicago, Illinois. The bustling city was like a bee hive for me. I was aware that for more than twenty five years I was isolated in a small village in Iraq. I knew that a new life had just started. A life full of opportunities and challenges had just began.

In my view, life in America bears both challenges and dreams. For a new refugee like me, challenges were like new culture, new ideas, new life system, language and new settlement. In addition, finding social support was a necessity. It is not easy to bridge between two very different cultures in a short period of time. I grew up in a society where there was almost no role for women. Then I entered into a free and open society where men and women had almost the same opportunities in everything. That gap is not connected right away to new refugees when they first arrive to America.

America is a country of challenges and big dreams. Despite those challenges, there are many dreams for refugees. My first dream was to learn the English language. In about six months, I was able to overcome that obstacle. The second dream was getting into a college and achieve a college degree. As result, I am now doing my undergraduate studies and I am on my second year. I am expecting my graduation before the end of 2019. This is an exciting future dream for me and my family. Those were initial steps towards a big dream; stable family and a good job.

All those moments of my life began with the opportunity to come to America.

The moment you enter the United States of America, you feel like you are in a new world full of difficulties, dreams and future expectations. For me, as I entered the country, I felt like I was in a very colorful mosaic full of all colors and various patterns. I felt that possibilities and dreams are endless. It all depends on how you handle these possibilities and the way you think and work towards them. When I first came to America, I knew this was a blessed nation and not everybody gets to come.

Several things made me happy and excited at the first moment when I entered America.

First, a huge support from churches, communities and American friends. Second, the general system is established in a way that encourages and supports your efforts and dreams in many ways. Third, the United States is a country of freedom and human rights. All these things are done under the rule of law.

For me, great moments are very rare. My most memorable moment was the arrival to the United states of America. That was the most exciting moment in my life because I felt that I was closer to achieving my dreams. The second time that I felt more happier than before was being granted an asylum by the government of the United States of America in 2015. It was a turning point in my life and family after waiting for around four years.

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About Pakhshan
Pakhsan is a Kurdish refugee.