The Family Portrait

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Family portrait of my siblings.
Family portrait of my siblings.

My father had immigrated from Yemen to the United States back in the 70’s with his father in an effort to support their family back home. For nearly thirty years my father visited back and forth only able to see my mother and (at the time) seven children a couple of weeks per year. In 1997, my mother and six of my seven siblings immigrated to New York City. To a land they have never been, a language they did not speak, and a culture completely different than theirs. Once they arrived one of the first things my family did was to have professional photos taken to commemorate the new chapter of their lives. Dressed in their best attire my family’s rich Yemeni culture was exhibited beautifully. Myself yet to be born, this photo portrays a side of my family I never knew, The Alzoubeir family pre-assimilation. I was born into a family whose home encapsulated our roots, language, and culture as this portrait hung in the center of my living room growing up. My siblings had to learn English as well as change the way they dressed to fit in at school and in society. This photo makes me aware of how much my family changed in the two years before I was born in order to be “American.”

Place(s): New York
Year: 1997

– Malaq Alzoubeir

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