Snowy Picture

In Fun
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Fun in the snow
Fun in the snow

 My father moved to New York from a very rural part of Bangladesh in the early 1990s. He was in his early 20s and had just married my mother, who had been his neighbor growing up. He moved to the United States with little money, no wife, and no friends. But nonetheless he was able to find a community, another family here. Pictured is my father with a man who had grown up in the same district as him: Mohammed Hossain. I call him Forhad Uncle. My father lived with him and several other men in an apartment in Astoria, Queens. The two of them are rolling around in something they had never experienced back in their home country: snow. Coming from a tropical climate, this was one of their first experiences with the cold. The two were able to share this moment together, showing how quickly people can come together in such scary and lonely times. 

 This photo represents one of the many stages that come with the difficult journey of leaving your family behind to move to another country: community building. All of the men my father lived with were from the same part of Bangladesh and all of them had come to New York knowing no one, their families left back at home. Over the course of a decade, each of those men, including the one in the photo would bring his wife to New York. One of the men even had a child back in Bangladesh who would land here in the late 1990s. Over the course of another decade, each of those men would have children and start families. Those families make up my family.

Place(s): Astoria, New York

– Saima Sheik

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant