WE ARE: A Nation of Immigrants - New Haven 2018
New Haven Green A25
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Current occupation: Architect and artist
Reason for migration: I wanted to follow my siblings in obtaining an outstanding American education.
Commentary: My family has always recognized that a great education is the best way to achieve a better life. In the late '80s - early '90s, my father sent my elder brother to Iowa State to study computer engineering; my sister became an interior designer; and I followed in their footsteps, obtaining an architecture degree. I am an architect by day and Syrian artist by night.
This country is my home. This is where peace and tranquility are, this is where my career is and this is where I am involved in my community. But I remain Syrian and a Muslim by birth. I do not think that these two cultures are in conflict. As is true for so many other people, both cultures factor into making me who I am. Our backgrounds, where we grew up, should not isolate or harm us, but rather should add to the complexity of what makes each one of us unique. The difference between humans is not a national security threat. It’s what adds to the richness of this great society. We must celebrate our diversity rather than divide and build walls between each other.