A Permanent Memory

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I was born in 1990 in Kurdistan, Iraq, in complete poverty. My family and I had to live under these harsh conditions until I reached the age of four. My hometown was in war with Iran during my stay there, so the whole country was in a state of devastation. Thousands and thousands of people, along with my family, fled from all different parts of Iraq to surrounding countries in hopes of finding a safer place to live. Four years after my birth, my family managed to flee and escape the poverty life in Kurdistan, ending up in south Turkey. However, when we reached Turkey, our situation worsened greatly. Like the streets of Kurdistan, our land of settlement was much worse, taking poverty to an absolute level. Since my family, along with thousands and thousands of other Kurds, were not citizens of Turkey, the Turkish government treated us worse than animals. They did their best to starve the Kurds to death, giving them only water and bread four times out of a week. I lived under these malnourished conditions for two full years before moving to America, the land of peace and opportunity.

It was the October of 1996 when I first landed foot on American soil. I still remember that unforgettable feeling. I felt so peaceful and happy, feeling like I would never come across malnutrition again. Unlike the Turkish government, the American government treated us like humans. They put my whole family in a nice apartment. Also, the government officials gave us some money to help us pay for our food and utility bills for some months until both my father and my mother found themselves decent jobs. After my parents continuously worked for a number of months, finally my parents could support my family. Since my parents were now on their feet, they no longer needed support from the American officials. As time progressed, we began understanding the rich American lifestyle and customs. For my family, to be in America with a roof under our head and being able to support ourselves without the aid of outsiders is a great jump. Escaping the poverty life in Kurdistan, Iraq, to settle down in rich America is undeniably my greatest memory.


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