Neighbors’ Day: April 30
To mark the first anniversary of the Whitney’s new home, neighbors visit free on Saturday, April 30.Reserve tickets
I am from Yemen, a country located in the Middle East. It is a tropical country. It has nice weather and very friendly people. I moved to the United States when I was eleven years old. I moved with my family and we settled in New York where my father has his business. It looks like we are settling in here because we have grown to love New York and have adapted to its environment. I have been living in New York for six years. When I first came to the United States of America, I found it very hard to adapt to the cold winter days and the hot summer days. I faced a major conflict in adapting to this country and her people. I had never spent more than three years in the same place. I was used to moving from one place to another, exploring many things and going on many different adventures. I also had to learn to speak English properly and to learn to settle down in a stable environment, which I wasn't used to.
My story very much relates to the story of Esmeralda Santiago in the book When I was Puerto Rican. In my homeland of Yemen I moved a lot from city to city and visited my family at their homes during summer vacation. Over the years I’ve experienced and learned to adapt to diverse people, cultures, and environments. I live a stable life with my family, but at the same time I live a diverse life through the food we eat, the different holidays my family celebrates, and the diverse friends we've adapted to and loved over the years. Some of my friends view my family and me as very political. They view us as family and consider us friends.
I am in eleventh grade at the Heritage High School. It’s a small school where we have great teachers who help us focus on our education more and get involved in extracurricular activities such as internships, community service, and other projects. I am really interested in Political Science, Math, U.S. History and World History. Over the years I’ve had really great teachers who have influenced me and taught me great skills. I will continue to use these skills to help me throughout my life and my educational career. I love school and can’t get enough of education. There are so many things out there that I would like to learn. My parents have been really supportive of me and they have helped me learn the value of education and how it can change my life and the world. My parents have helped me so much and I am grateful to them and proud of them.
I have three brothers and three sisters and they are all younger than me. Over the years I have learned to share my space with them and have grown to love them. Sometimes I babysit all of them and I teach them right from wrong. I consider myself a role model to them. They are great siblings, although I don’t have the chance to spend much time with them because they go to school and after-school programs, and my schedule is also very busy. I am currently participating in extracurricular activities such as Youth Insights, community service at Young Citizen Center and a mentoring program at Davis Polk & Wardwell law firm.
I love philosophy. Ayn Rand is one of my favorite authors. One of my favorite books that she wrote is Anthem. Another great author is George Orwell, I love his books and one of my favorite books is Animal Farm. I am very opinionated and love to express my opinion or perspective on anything. I like global history. We must learn the past in order to predict the future. I describe myself as a classy girl. I like simple, small, cute things. I love to paint, cook, and dance. I enjoy listening to different types of music, especially Arabic music. I like to decorate my room and our house. I design cloth with my mom. I don’t really enjoy long vacations because I love to work; I am a very hard worker.
I have overcome many obstacles over the years and I am really proud of myself, my determination, and accomplishments. I am aiming really high and my parents’ expectations of me are high. In the future I would like to be a politician and help the economy and people. I will continue my education and go to college. I will accomplish many great things. “I have a dream," as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, and I am determined to accomplish all my dreams no matter what obstacles I face.