Thankful for a Breathtaking Life

on November 27 | in Celebrate Clarkston | by | with No Comments

Refugee and immigrant life is breathtaking to me.  I cry many mornings from happiness as I drive down Church Street in Clarkston.

I see an old Bhutanese couple walking down the street to go to an ESL class.  I see young boys dressed in yellow shorts and helmets riding bikes together.  I see a mother holding her child’s hand walking toward school. I see a policeman standing and waiting to help parents and their children to cross the street.    Seeing police being helpful like this might be part of the American expectation, but it is a privilege for me.  As an Afghani growing up in war, I have a different appreciation knowing that my children are safe on their way to school.  I was able to go to school but I always had the fear of being killed by a bomb or rocket on my way to school.

As a refugee who has escaped war, my child is now safe going to school.  I thank and admire the school bus driver and the policeman helping parents and children crossing the street.  Special thanks go to the teachers who provide knowledge and safe environment for my child in the classroom.  My refugee heart aches from joy and hope when I see refugee and immigrant kids going to school.  We might acknowledge the need for the change and improvement in our schools, but let us not forget that it is our human nature to not appreciate what we have unless we experience otherwise.

Clarkston is a place that I love.  I am hopeful when I see community members, individuals, and agencies come together to work in Clarkston and show their commitment for change.  I am lucky to be working with Clarkston community members from different backgrounds and races.  I believe that everyone has good intentions to work toward change.

 -Sumaya Karimi
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