New Iowan: Hussein

Time Frame: 2005

This is an interview with a young, New Iowan, as part of the documentary "Our Kids."

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Somalia, Fourth Grade

I was born in Iraq, then I moved to Jordan, but my native country is Somalia. I speak English, Arabic, and Somalia. I went to kindergarten and first and second in Jordan. Girls have to go to school by their own, they can't go with boys. The girls have to go by their self; when they come back the boys have to go, and then when they come back we just play outside.

School in Iowa

I was seven years old when I came to America. I was sad and I was angry because I didn't have nobody to play with. But only my brother, but I couldn't go to him. On my first day when we went to recess I used to climb the fence to get to my brother's playground, but I couldn't because a teacher would catch me, so I almost one time got over the fence but they caught me.

It's hard because when I moved here I didn't know what the teachers are talking, and what they were saying, and I don't know nothing, only a little bit of English. Like I always say "yes". When somebody said "do you want to go and play?" I say, "yes"; when they said "do you want to get a drink?" I always say "yes". Like, I didn't know any words, only "yes".

I didn't know how you read in English. And that... upsets me a lot because I didn't know. But now I know a little bit of learning English now.


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