Moving to America as a Refugee: The First Time I Left My Home Country

This is my story of being a refugee, the difficulties of leaving my country, why my family was selected, the process of my journey, and the good aspects of coming and moving to America. Plus I will be sharing a special video at the end of this mytake for you guys and gals.

Leaving my country and moving to America my first time, a refugee story 1. How we got chosen

Before you judge my father, he was always a hard working man and a loving person even when he was an early teen and late teen he helped his mother a lot by picking up groceries and even working as a kid. Its not like how it is over here in America even a little kid over there could work some jobs such as businesses and basically anything that didn't require a college degree.

My dad took an extra job as a really young teen selling food and fixing radios, fans, and other things because his family was struggling, he would also pay for the food most of the time not to mention this was even harder growing up with 8 siblings. His father when he was 5 was falsely accused by the gov then finally let out after 10 years when they found out he was innocent when he came out he died from a heart attack and lost his father in his late teens so he started working again to help out his mom.

Then in his mid 20's he was forced to join the military a "selective service" this was when Saddam came into power. Then in his early 30's he became a general, he would help some of the innocent Kurd's who got captured by Saddam's army just to get tortured or killed or both escape by pretending like he knew them and would help bail them out my dad was a Kurd, but he could do this sometimes cause he was a general for "Saddam's army" cause he was forced to join. So any government job especially military at that time helped increase your chances of being saved and being reconciled as a refugee.

2. Why we got chosen

Getting chosen was still by luck since not every government worker at that time got selected or assisted rather to flee the country in the 1990's during the Iraq gulf war. There were also many other Iraqis and Kurd's in the military that did not get chosen.The Arabs wanted no part of Saddam's regime especially the Kurdish people they were caught in the middle.

This especially became global when one of Saddam's cousins ordered a chemical gas attack against the Kurd's which he did on March 16th 1988 in a Kurdish city called Halabja just of northern Iraq killing more than 5,000 it was documented as the largest chemical gas genocide ever recorded in history. There were some American spies who would report back to the American government as well. The Red Cross came over to help refugees cross to the Turkish border cause at that time there was no Iraqi Airport.

3. The process of coming to America

Then the Red cross send us a bus by 1996 we had left our country, the Turks drove us to a city in Iraq called Zakho. We stayed there for 2 days then they drove us to a Turkish camp we slept in a tent and stayed there for 2 days as well. Afterwards we crossed a bridge to which another bus took us to a city called Seyhan which took 10 hours to get to and stayed in a hotel called Antana for a day.

Next We walked to the Turkish airport to which we were taken to Guam and stayed there for 3 months we stayed in a double connected house with other refugees, then we took a boat to Hawaii. Finally from there we took the Hawaii airport to which we arrived at San Francisco and stayed at a hotel for a day then we flew to the Harrisburg airport and from there a missionary worker drove us with his bus to a missionary house in Cumberland Pennsylvania. It was snowy the very first day we arrived there at that house it was on a February day in 1997.

4. The pros of moving to America

There are many great reasons why moving to America was so great not to mention that it was even better when we arrived cause we came for free. I will make a list here of the good aspects of America compared to my country.

* there is 24/7 electricity

* It has a much better economy

* more job opportunities

* no dictator

* cleaner environment

* better treatments

* Better architecture

* better schools

* much nicer roads

* more freedom

There are much more things to list, but these are what I felt were the most important to mention. I had most of my great child hood memories here and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

5. The cons of leaving Iraq

One of the biggest problems when someone moves away from their own home country is having to say good bye and not being able to see your other family members. For me however that was not a problem I was 5 when we left and 6 when we arrived to America, but for my parents it was very difficult leaving their relatives behind and their parents.

We also had to wait for 4 years before getting our green cards and you could not travel anywhere unless you had that, but they had to wait longer before going back to visit because by that time 9/11 happened and people in certain middle eastern countries weren't allowed to leave the country. Another thing is that some of the food over there is not available in the U.S. so I did not get to eat some of the foods that I missed over there. We did however at least have one aunt who was living in America, but they were in living Tennessee we visited each other a few times.

5. The dangers

Escaping was not an easy task there were a couple of times were the Peshmerga (Kurdish military) was battling Saddam's military and one of those places was in my hometown. One of our neighbors got shot and killed and that day I was standing outside when that happened. I didn't know at the time what that was, but that could have easily been me since I was so close to it. That picture is of the chemical gas attack I mentioned earlier.

All the successful countries are multicultural

Well that is my mytake on my first experience moving to another country. The video link above is of me on fox news when I was 7. Guess which one I am :P? #GaGWritingContest


Most Helpful Girl

  • Damn, that must have been kind of scary for you too when you left.

    What did you think about being on tv as a kid?

    • Lol its funny cause at the time I didn't actually know I was on the news I thought it was just a couple of people interviewing my mom and dad. I honestly didn't remember anything about that day except my brother reading that paper thing in his hands and that lady interviewing us.

    • :D Did you try to pull any pranks on them?

    • Lol nah fox news are the ultimate trolls I wouldn't dare :P

Most Helpful Guy

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 5

What Guys Said 12

  • Good mytake.

  • Do you think the Kurds will become independent after these current conflicts?

    • No its too corrupt honestly the Kurdish governors are doing just as bad of a job when the Bath party were in power its really sad to see how worse the gov became again. Did you hear about how they went months without getting their work salary the citizens?

    • No. I just figure something will happen. I recall, during the begging of this conflict, the Iraqi government asked the Kurds to go a liberate Ramadi. The response was something along the lines of, "yes, but we aren't giving it back". However, that could of been referring to their semi-autonomous zone.

  • this depends are you one of those people who got the pledge taken from schools i fuckin hated how Muslims [not all] got that shit taken out because it offended them. 1 this is not YOUR country its OUR country [our as in yours and mine] and i dont find it fair that all because saying god offended them it got taken out. also when i went to visit my family 3 years ago when i was 16 i was shamed by a group of muslims for walking passed them when they were praying. i understand its your religion but dont piss on peoples days about it or you will be in for a rude awakening that people are getting tired of the whole everything seems to offend muslims [again not all muslims just the over sensitive ones].

    • I am not even Muslim. And unless you're native American I don't wanna hear about how its your country. Show me one country that's not multicultural and is successful. I could care less about ppls beliefs I can see how this offends you though since that was violating your rights when they got pledge of allegiance taken away from this school you speak of.

    • Show All
    • if you were offended from the beginning dont turn this into and argument just fuckin ignore it and grow up.

    • also these things we post are OPINIONS. not answers they are not made to be tailored to your need.

  • what an experie3nce would it have been for a young boy

  • Glad to hear your story!! :)

  • Take your fucking hajab off and assimilate into our culture and be Americans GODDAMMIT ! Ot get the fuck out ! We really don't want or need you here !

  • You shouldn't have come, it sucks here. I am Krieger and I approve of this ad.

  • İf you are not muslim you are welcomed. But muslims are not refugees. They are invaders.

  • Most interesting MyTake in the competition so far!

  • if you move out of your country then you are NOT a refugee. then you are an immigrant.

  • how did u manage to deal with natives who tend to look down on migrants?

    • I was pretty young I don't think kids think about that kinda thing, but as I got older it was pretty hard.

  • Kurds are terrorists who are bombing innocents in turkey.
    Just like the Christians in Europe and Americe alongside their Muslim friends in Middle Eastz

    • I am guessing you are a Turk? lol

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    • So what country are you from?

    • If you look at throughout history whites have killed more people on a global scale. And they are just as bad if not worse when it comes to stealing, cheating, killing, and everything in between. Asians as well
      Just look at Genghis Khan