Ali Jami – Afghanistan

Ali Jami – Afghanistan
Photo by Maria Kalaitzandonakes
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Listen to Ali tell his story.

*Some grammatical/spelling edits have been made to allow better understanding.

My name is Ali Jami.  I am in 10th grade.  I was born on August 10, 1996, in Kabul, Afghanistan.  I didn’t see my country Kabul, because I was a kid, I was a baby.  My father was a surgeon doctor.  He worked in hospital, in Kabul.  This hospital is very big all the people come this hospital.  My mother worked in school, and she was Persian teacher.  My native language was Persian.

In 1996, the war began in Afghanistan with Taliban.  After the war my father left Afghanistan after 19 days my mother and I moved to Pakistan.

In Pakistan my mother and I lived in public housing for a few days, public house is small, bad and smell is bad, after a few days I with my mom moved to Iran, because we can’t live in Pakistan.

When we went to Iran we got to live with my uncle and aunty, for a year.  Then after this my dad called us, and he said we have to go to Azerbaijan because it will help us to come to Moscow.  In Azerbaijan we lived with best friend and his family in his house three months. The house was very big, in this is house lived two families, my mom don’t want lived.  After three months we moved to Azerbaijan then we went to Moscow by car.

We came to Moscow in 2000.  We lived 14 years as refugees, we did not have a Russian passport that would be nice to live in there, but we had some documents for refugee.  In 2001 I went to kindergarten in Moscow, I lived with my parents. In 2005 I went to school 1st grade in Moscow.  In 2007 I changed my school, because I had many problems with the teachers because they didn’t like the Muslim people.

In Moscow I had a lot of friends, but with many boys I had problems because they didn’t like Muslims.  Because the people in Moscow said “This is my country why you came to.” Every morning I walk with my friend to school, after school I usually was goingto my friend’s house to work on homework.  My brother was born in 2005 in Moscow.  In 2009, he went to kindergarten.

In Moscow my dad had his own restaurant, and in 2007 Russian people destroyed the restaurant because we did not had a permanent resident card or passport to legally to live in Russia.  My mom, she was working at beauty salon, and she was a manager.

In 2012 we sent our documents to IOM to come to America then they approve us to State of Missouri with my all my family.  In August 16 I’m going to Rock Bridge High School and Hickman High School, and I’m in the 10th grade and I’m taking English class.  In Hickman High School I have other classes.  In America now my dad works in restaurant, India House.  My mom doesn’t have work.

Now we live in apartment. After three months we will move to a public housing because in my family just my dad works because my dad’s job doesn’t pay well and we don’t have money for the apartment.

By Maria Kalaitzandonakes

About The Author

“See zos chickens?” her old Greek grandfather would say pointing to the pigeons, “all of zos are yours.” Growing up, all little girls think they’re princesses. But Maria’s kingdom never had a prince, never a castle. She reigned over her “chickens” and olive trees. Yup, it was all Greek to her. Rules in this kingdom were strict. Only A’s in school. No sleepovers. No painting the walls. In pre-school the teachers had her hearing tested three times, thinking that her piercingly loud voice must come from some sort of deafness. Maria, herself, never realized her life was odd until grade school, when the very American idea of “personal bubble space” puzzled her. And when physically unable to abide by the “arm’s length apart rule” Maria’s teacher gave her a hula hoop, which she had to walk around with as to not disrupt anyone’s personal space. When a little boy bothered her in middle school, Maria’s hot temper (Greek Blood as Maria’s father called it), got the best of her, and she yelled out a curse “gammoto!” and punched him in the face. In high school she embraced the crooked nose, the Christmas boat and the five gallon olive oil tin in her pantry. When Maria’s grandfather first saw a squirrel he said, “See zos fings” pointing to the unknown animal, “Do not be afraid of zem. You are a Greek, baby.” And with that, she had confidence in her future, as a non-squirrel fearing Greek princess. Maria is also the editor in chief for "The Rock" and "Southpaw". You can contact me at [email protected]

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