We come from a land filled with a loud and colorful noise echoing in the streets; timeless traditions; a love between everyone in the community, regardless of differences. So, coming to America was a big change. We no longer had the endless laughter and conversation during the late nights and brutal mornings during the month of Ramadan. We no longer had a community or even a family to celebrate Eid with. It became ordinary for us to not celebrate much at all anymore. Where are the crowded streets after iftar? When the city comes to life in the most magical way. The streets here are empty and sad, painted a dull shade of gray year round.
We miss home. It is a heart breaking and frankly, a very confusing experience living in a country that only shows the ugly in our beautiful home; of the beautiful people living in our home. They do not show the children playing in the streets, a generation not yet taken over by technology; or the bazaar that fills the streets with the most beautiful abayas. This country is deceiving. It has almost deceived us one too many times. We came with hopes that anything was possible in a country that symbolized freedom and democracy. It advertised a want for people of all nations, religions, races, and genders to come together and live in unity. It was not long after we arrived that reality came into focus. We were fed promises that gave us false hope; dreams that were met with a reality beyond imaginable. We came to learn this country was just as shallow as most. Corruption is present, but hidden well. The value of an American citizen is based on the intensity of pigment in your skin, and the faith you practice rather than your intellect, kindness, or ambition. This country will never be our home. For here, we have been given the freedom of religion, but had it taken away from us; Freedom of speech, but have had our voices silenced. We have lost our home, our faith, and ourselves and I wonder when I will hear the Imam call for prayer again..