I can still recall the day I left home to move to America. It was the year of 2005 and I was five years old. At the time I was very confused and hurt, I didn't understand. As a child, I questioned what was wrong with the way we were living then and why I was forced to leave a neighborhood that I knew like the back of my hand, a city where all my family members and friends resided in, a country that I was raised in, that was my home. I can still recall leaving my loved ones and the craving I could not feed nor satisfy to be reunited with them again. I recall the frustration my family and I felt not being able to communicate in English nor get around. I can recall the cramped living conditions and how foreign and unstable the ground felt under our feet. I can recall how I barely got to see my dad because he overworked and when he finally was home, I found him exhausted and fast asleep. My family and I, through Islam, found reasons to keep pushing. Of course, now that I'm older, I get it. Just like many who immigrate, education and a better life are always the top reasons for the move. Looking back on the many obstacles my parents had to overcome and understanding the sacrifices they made, I find myself having a stronger anchor and stronger reasons to want to motivate myself to succeed in a country that still sometimes feels a little foreign to me.
– Siham Bendra