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Interview with an immigrant 4 pages single spaced - Essay Example

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no. Date Interview Interviewer: Ali Nabeeb, I understand that you are a Tanzanian by birth? Nabeeb: Yes I am. In fact, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Tanzania. Interviewer: How did you come to the United States and where do you reside currently?…
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Download file to see previous pages Nabeeb: Learning English was really hard, especially considering that I had spoken a different language for 20 years. In Tanzania, I was accustomed to speaking the national language which is Kiswahili, in addition to my local Chagga dialect. It is very rare to find people speaking in English in Tanzania, and in fact, most people perceive English as a foreign language. Considering that I spoke very little English by the time I came to the United States, the language barrier was so much of an issue that most of the time, I did not make sense in my broken English, and people would laugh at me. Interviewer: It must have been really hard to get laughed at. How did you handle it? Nabeeb: At first, it was so humiliating. Imagine having kids as young as 6 years old laughing at you because they speak better English than you. It became so bad that I opted not to talk to people and this made me very lonely and homesick. Interviewer: So how did you overcome the language barrier issue and speaking of home sickness, how bad was it? Nabeeb: After secluding myself for around two months, I realized that life would not get any easier if I did not take up the responsibility of fighting of the language barrier problem. I, therefore, enrolled at a local grammar school where I took up English lessons, started interacting with people and actually urged them to correct me whenever I spoke bad English. But I must say that for an immigrant, having to distinguish between formal English and American slang is an uphill task. The homesickness? No words can fully describe what it feels like to be in an alien land, away from friends and family, and forced to adapt to new life. I would get so home sick that I would spend my free time trying to find other Tanzanians who help me manage the homesickness. Communicating with my family back in Tanzania via telephone also helped ease the homesickness. However, the international calls were very expensive at the time for a student, meaning that communication was very rare. Interviewer: Apart from the language barrier and homesickness, what other challenges have you faced as an immigrant in the United States? Nabeeb: Once I set foot in the United States, everything was totally different. It is like waking up to a new world; the weather, the food, the modes of dressing, the accents, and more so the system of education, all gave me a culture shock. In class especially, I found the teaching methods so strange that I used to be the quietest student in class. I could not dare ask questions or even answer them. It really took me time to get adjusted to the American classroom. In addition, there are too many laws controlling the lives of immigrants that one almost feels suffocated. Obtaining a driving license, getting a work permit, travelling out of the country, getting social security, among many other regulations almost make one feel like a suspect. I must also add that it took me quite a while to get used to eating burgers and pizzas. I used to crave for Tanzanian food so much that I would try the recipes only to end up disappointed because the ingredients I found here are not the same as those used in Tanzania. Anyway, after months of complaining, I finally adjusted and I got used to the food here. Interviewer: But the experiences could not have been all bad. Is there anything positive about being an immigrant in the United States? Nabeeb: Everyone wants to live the American dream. That is what I came chasing for and that is the best decision I ever ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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