A passion was ignited into a full burning flame within my father. As he went through the daily routines in Albania, under a harsh communist regime, he sought for more. More freedoms, more education, more interaction with the outside world: all ingredients to fuel the flame that was his ambition. Immediately as the Turkish embassy had open its doors, my father’s flame took him there as he said goodbye to his life in Shkoder, Albania, and began a new one as a refugee in the Multeci Misafirhanesi Camp in Yozgat, Turkey. There he lived for two years in a room shared with ten other guys, most of them becoming some of his best friends. After his two year stay in Turkey, an opportunity in New York arose; this would the wick that would allow him to light his ambitions up in a whole new way. He had lived in the South Bronx working three separate jobs, just to make enough money to support himself and send back home. He saved up and brought my mom into the country. Then his brother, sister, parents, and my mom’s family. Then he bought a house in Brooklyn and settled in. He took his flame and was able to ignite the flame of the others he loved. The oil lamp that he brought from Albania to Turkey and then America represents that flame that has pushed his immigration story from start to finish.
– Abbas Ramadani