Samah Al-Nachawati

Just keep swimming.

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Fleeing the War

My cousin’s son, 9 years old, wrote a story for school about why he and his family fled Syria to America:

BOOM!! A loud terrifying sound scared me and my other schoolmates while we were on the school bus. BOOOOM!!!! A louder and more terrifying sound petrified us. The bus’ supervisor’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing because parents were worried about their children. “We don’t know where the explosions happened,” the supervisor explained. “But we will drive all the students back home.”

A widespread war has started in my country, Syria! Explosions are happening everywhere! So many people have died! People have no homes because they were destroyed by the war. Schools and hospitals have been devastated too. Kids have starved to death. “We can’t live here any longer,” Mom said sadly. “Yes, I think it’s time to go to America. Luckily I am a US citizen,” Dad agreed. So we had to leave Damascus. We had to leave the oldest city in history, the city of Jasmine and peace. I had to leave my home, my bed, my toys, my relatives, my school, and my memories. I left it all behind fleeing the war.

First, my one year old sister, mom, dad, and I went to Jordan by car to get passports and visa to the USA. Then, we took a giant plane to Chicago. I was working on the iPad the entire time trying to forget about leaving home. Finally, we took a smaller plane to Tulsa. A city where we found a new home, nice friends, a good school, and safety.

-Tareq Sewar, 9 years old.