It was my dream to come to the US and learn English. I was born in Emirates and moved to Syria. The reason why I came here was marriage. I was really young. I only finished 12th grade and came right away after that.
My husband proposed to me and applied for me to come here. We met through family. It was arranged, but my family asked me if I liked him. We called people many who knew him and asked all about him – they made a lot of compliments. That was good.
I was very different from my friends. I didn’t want a love story; I wanted a successful marriage.
It was, of course, a long trip to US. Almost 22 hours! It was something weird when the plane landed that first time. I felt… so lonely, no friends, no family. I felt almost- punished. What did I do wrong that I am here?
This feeling changed a lot in time.
After I went home to Syria the first time, and I was apart from my husband, then I knew, my place was with him. I missed him!
It was love, I knew it then.
Of course, a lot of people helped me when I first came here. I think so many Americans have empathy for others. I got help with driving. My husband didn’t have the patience to teach me at first. Before I had been here one year, I was pregnant, I was that pregnant. And I decided I would learn to drive before the baby came. A lady, who was also came from Syria, she helped me from zero to z, everything about driving!
What bothers me a lot is asking for help. I want to help others.
When I came to this country I got pregnant soon and nobody helped me. This was very hard. After my first baby, I promised I would cook for any pregnant woman I know.
And I did. I do.
The United States is a place very good for education. This is a free country, so I feel comfortable talking about things, especially about politics. I am not talking politics in the Emirates.
Here barbecue is different. We eat this too? But not the same. One time, when I am first here, an American friend said, “Oh boy! We are going to serve you a good meal. You are going to love this meal.”
I am excited. I think, what will this good food be?
And they make steak and mash potato.
I look, and I think, that’s it?
But now, oh, now I know. Now, I love this meal!
I really love America now.