Country of Birth: Afghanistan
Current: Minneapolis, MN
“When we learned we were to move to America, I was happy that I would soon be living in a country where I would have the right to education and would be able to pursue my hopes and dreams.”
Born in Kabul, Walizada and her family fled to Kabul International Airport in hopes of escaping the Taliban’s return to power.
Walizada comes from a big family home where she and her five siblings and her relative’s children would live and play together. Though frustrated with the education at her school, Walizada went to class, had friends, and had only one more day of ninth grade left when she fled to start her new life here.
Before resettling in Minnesota, Walizada and her family had to live in two refugee camps. One in Qatar, where they stayed for three months, and the other in New Jersey, where they stayed for five months. When they first arrived in Minnesota, they stayed at a hotel for two months before moving into her current family home.
When Walizada first came to Minnesota to resettle, everything was new for her and her family. The weather was freezing, and there were many different cultures in the US that she had to learn about. She experienced that people here behave very friendly and that the people who greeted her and her family were good guides and set a good example.
Walizada has noticed a lot of importance is placed on safety and security here. She likes how the US people seem to live a safe and calm life. After high school, she wants to go to university to study computer science and serve the US community, which in her opinion, immensely helped her and her family.