Royeena - Green Card Voices


Occupation: Student

Country of Birth: Afghanistan

Current: Minneapolis, MN

“My main priority is to improve my English. I used to think that when I came to America, I would learn the language as soon as possible, but […] didn’t start learning it properly until I enrolled in high school.”

Born in a new housing development in Kabul in 2006, Royeena comes from a big family with eight siblings and a house with three floors. She lived on one floor, and her neighbors rented the other two with kids her age. Royeena went to school with them every day before the Taliban came and took over the government. 

Royeena fears that if she had stayed in Kabul, her family would not have been able to have a normal everyday life. Especially her father, who worked with foreigners. They waited at the airport for two whole nights before escaping to Qatar.

She traveled through Qatar for four hours, Italy for two weeks, and New Jersey for three months before coming to Minnesota. 

Since leaving, Royeena feels ethnocentrism is still very prevalent among her Afghan peers at school, who always mention their ethnic groups instead of their nationality.

Royeena feels her life here is good now and has made some new friends since resettling in Minnesota. Together, they can go out and have fun without her family worrying about her safety or the neighbors gossiping. But Royenna still misses the food back in Afghanistan because the food was delicious there.

In the future, Royeena aims to become a police officer or TV announcer and have a family here. She wants to be faithful to God. Depending on the Afghanistan situation twenty years from now, Royeena wants to return to see her relatives alive.