Coming to America : Sophomore Husna Basiri’s journey from Afghanistan to America


Basiri reads a book in the George Mason library.

The opportunities in America are unlimited compared to the rare chances of opportunities given in Afghanistan. America is easily considered the most advanced country compared to the rest of the world.

Sophomore Husna Basiri moved to America on Feb. 12, 2020. Those who live in Afghanistan have major differences in perspectives of the world. Afghanistan is a landlocked south central Asian country bordering Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China.

“It is considered a beautiful and manufactured nation because of its stunning cobalt-blue lakes with natural travertine dams,” said Basiri.

These dams are located in Band-e-Amir, the pristine, soaring Pamir mountains and which some areas have the world’s last snow leopards prowling. Afghanistan includes many geographical features but compared to the United States, it is considered a small country.

“The U.S. is 1,408% larger than Afghanistan. About 290.0 million more people in the United States compared to Afghanistan,” said Basiri .

The population in Afghanistan is 36.6 million people less.

“These people live in peace and in respect. Us Afghans commonly have a strong sense of personal honor, hospitality, loyalty and modesty,” said Basiri .

Agriculture is the most important to Afghanistan. The agriculture has traditionally dominated Afghanistans economy and made it famous for having delicious fruits such as pomegranates, grapes and its extra-sweet jumbo- sized melons. This culture became well known in Kabul, the largest city and capital of Afghanistan.

“I lived in Kabul before moving to the U.S. Kabul was named after Paris because of its central loca- tion in Asia surrounding historical gardens, bazaars and palaces that attracted tourists,” said Basiri .

The education system in Afghanistan includes primary education, secondary education, higher education, vocational education, teacher training and religious education.

“Free education through the bachelor level is a constitutional right in Afghanistan, but getting to government universities is challenging,” said Basiri.

Students need to gain a higher score based on their selected educational fields in the Kankor exam. The Kankor exam has 160 multi-choice questions from the 10th, 11th and 12th grades with a top score of 360.

There are private learning centers in Afghanistan where they teach world languages and both science and math courses.

“I learned English and math in those learning centers. It made my new life easier in the U.S. because I could communicate easily and fluently,” said Basiri.

Basiri when moved to America, she received support from her family, friends and was accepted in various communities.

“My family helped me get to where I am today, by being supportive and making me feel like they believe in me,” said Basiri.

America is very different from Afghanistan, especially when it comes to education. Afghanistan does not have what America provides.The school system was not the same nor was the process easy.

“My cousins helped me understand the school system and how everything goes in school. I believe moving to a new country is not easy,” said Basiri.

Moving to a new country causes stress, anxiety and severe emotional conditions. For some, it makes people feel like they are not a part of the community.

“I want to help the new Afghan students feel like they are a part of this community. I helped them get used to the school and the cultural differences,” said Basiri.

The Dunya Club helps new stu- dents make their life more comfortable in a new environment. Meredith Hedrick and Rothe lead the club alongside the students at AHS.

“I am truly grateful for their constant support and guidance to help the students. As Vice President of
the club, I feel happy because we have succeeded in creating a friendly environment,” said Basiri.

The Dunya Club helps students discuss their grades, answer any questions and concerns they may have and provides activities like cricket as well as the opportunity to field trips.

“May these students always continue to achieve success in their lives,” said Basiri.