Syrian student tells his remarkable story

Ayman Salloum, Contributing Writer

The day I found out I was going to move from Syria to America, I was very sorrowful.

I knew that, as a result of civil war and other conflicts, I would never be able to return to my home country for lengthy periods of time.

I have been in the United States for almost a year and have noticed the big differences between Eastern and Western cultures in every single perspective of life.

There are many differences between Syria and America including language, traditions, schools, society, communication, and people.

First, I found a huge difference when I first entered my new American high school. I knew that I had to work very hard on my English.

I also had to improve my academic achievements in order the reach the honors and Advanced Placement levels which will better qualify me to be in college.

I also have to take the Regents exams in order to graduate and I must study very hard for them.

This issue was and still is a difficult thing for me as a student who speaks Arabic.

This is a language that most Americans are completely unfamiliar with.

There are hardly any people in the school community that I can speak Arabic with. This can make it very difficult for me to learn more English,

It is also difficult to make relationships at school because I have to understand the new customs and I also have to understand how to communicate with everybody else.

I have to pay close attention in class and listen to the teachers carefully in order to understand their ideas from the first time and try to be like every other student in my mainstream classes.

For my past life, I still miss my home and feel very bad that this war has brought destruction, poverty, and terrible violations of humanity that have made our society very desperate.

It is difficult for me to think about how much the people in my country are suffering

I miss my family, my school, and my best friends as well. It’s a difficult experience that has given me a better perspective of things going on in our world.

In a way, I am grateful for it because it has given me the opportunity to study in America and improve my English.

It has also helped me to appreciate how lucky I am to be in this country that is safe to live in.