Their path to a better life

Junior Mehair Al Laban left his war torn home country, Syria, and traveled to Jordan as the start of his path to a better life.

   “For my country, I feel so bad for them,” Al Laban said. “The president is so bad treating the people like that. Now he is dictator (and) no one can disagree with him at all.”   

   He and his family moved to Jordan and lived there for five years. After that, they traveled to America. But during his time in Jordan, Al Laban says life wasn’t so easy. He says all he did was work to help support his family.

    “The life was hard there,” Al Laban said. “For me moving to America helped me a lot because in Jordan I just worked and didn’t go to school, (because) if you don’t work (in Jordan) you don’t live.”

    Traveling to America and searching for better a education and life proved to be a great opportunity for Al Laban, like it is for many others who come to America. However, Al Laban says there are still many challenges newcomers in America face. For example, he says he faced challenges learning a new language, meeting new people and having to learn about a new culture.

    According to Al Laban, for Arabic speakers it is sometimes hard to learn English because the English language is very different from Arabic. This is largely due to he letters in the alphabet because there are some Arabic letters that don’t exist in the English language.

    Also, when Al Laban came to America he didn’t speak any English. So, learning the language was hard for him.

     “I felt terrible that not knowing English,” Al Laban said. “I was struggling at first but as soon as I got some, I kept going forward and learning English every day.”

      Similar to Al Laban, junior Mirza Smoqi and his family came to America for the same reasons. He wanted to have a better education and future. Along with this, Smoqi faced many of the same challenges.

      “My challenges (were) being in a new place and new country,” Smoqi said.

      But despite the changes Mehair and Smoqi went through, they both agree that their lives changed for the better.

“My life changed a 100 percent in the other way…,” Al Laban said. “I think I went from a normal way of life to a better and interesting life.”