Sophomore Sosan Barakzai moves from Afghanistan to America


Barakzai reads a book near the modulars.

A new beginning in a new country was the opportunity sophomore Sosan Barakzai was given. Barakzai moved
from Afghanistan to the U.S. on March 23, 2017. Most people assume that life in Afghanistan consists of a place where every street is filled with predators with guns and bombs are being fired everywhere.

That is not entirely true.

“Where I lived and especially Kabul was never like that. It was lively, kids, women, men, and animals were all living
their lives being happy and grateful for what they had,” Barakzai said.

Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan. Several families and people lived in luxuries. It is the largest urban center in the country.

Education in Afghanistan was different compared to America. The level of education was lower than the U.S.

“Education was ok there. We did not have computers or good clean classrooms, but what we had was already luxuries for us. I realized that our environment was not that great but all students loved it,” Barakzai said.

Each grade level has a different amount of subjects they learn. Those in elementary school learn nine subjects, in
middle school they learn 12 and in high school they learn 18. Once moving to America, a place where so many new opportunities are offered, there can be some changes and requirements to adjust to the new environment.

“There are a lot of opportunities. Technology was provided for everyone, there are no uniforms for public schools, there are clubs in schools and we have lunches in school. America is a more advanced and modern country,” Barakzai said.

“Staying after school for clubs, playing sports, going to a mixed gender school, there are lots of these small things but these are the main ones for a student life,” Barakzai said.

Heavy emotions and mixed feelings rush in. One questions whether in the future things will adjust back to how they felt at home.

“I felt strange, I thought to myself this is America. This is what everyone in Afghanistan wants. I was excited but nervous and felt not home. I felt like I came to another world and I was uncomfortable but after some time me and my family adjusted quickly,” Barakzai said.

It can be difficult to leave your family, to leave the place where you felt like home for all your life. These are the attachments one has and needs to let go in order to achieve and accomplish their dreams. To do what those couldn’t.

In America, English is the language everyone is expected to speak.

“I struggled with the language a lot. It was very hard to understand and to share what I wanted to say or how to express my feelings and make friends,” Barakzai said.

It’s not easy to move to a new country but what makes it the best choice anyone could have made is the people who are there for support.

“My biggest supporters were my neighbors in Springfield, my teachers in Holmes Middle School, my friends and my parents. Everyone encouraged me to work hard and that I am a hard working person and also that is how I am here today because of them,” Barakzai said.