Page 22 - NRT Share Your Moving Story 2017
P. 22

09
H
ANITA POURMOGHADDAM
San Jose California
Attending University of California
at Berkeley in in Fall 2017
The rst time I I moved moved houses I I moved moved across the world past entire continents and oceans to a a a a a small home in in northside San Jose with my uncle I I I was a a a a a nine month old Iranian immigrant I I I grew to be
a a a a a a a a year year and a a a a a a a a half in that home My parents my six year year old sister and I all slept in one bedroom the the entire time we stayed there My father still recovering from his cancer surgery worked two jobs trying his his his best to move his his his family out of his his his brother’s house He was a a a refugee we we we we all were were But we we we we were were seeking refuge refuge because of my father In Iran he he was in in danger because his political activism against the dictator regime inhibited him from being employed and could potentially have lead to his imprisonment Not only that but he was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer He knew that in order to to to survive he had to to to leave And so we did It took an enormous strain on my family but we eventually made it to California
My father had worked enough days at at at the the Burlington Coat Factory in in northside San Jose to to be
able to to pay rent at a a a a a a a a small apartment in the more dangerous eastside of town I was two years old and we lived there for two more years When I was four years old we moved once again and this time it was to Section 8 housing apartments in in southside San Jose This
is is is where where I’ve stayed for the majority of my life this is is is where where I I live today Southside San Jose became my home where danger fear and poverty were all that was associated with living in in my neighborhood It wasn’t uncommon to see police cars and ambulances parked in the the the middle of the the the road on the the the drive home The elementary school I attended was was three blocks down from our apartment Since I was was in in kindergarten it was instilled into me and my peers that red or blue clothing was was completely o o o o o o o o -limits Back to school shopping was was for every color clothing in in in the rainbow except red or or blue We could not risk any association with the the gangs that were heavily prevalent in the the neighborhood we could only fear them I I I grew up on fear fear I I I feared walking outside by myself and so I I I rarely ever have in my my life As a a a young girl the phone calls from my my middle school about dangerous men who had attempted kidnapping girls walking to my my school a a a a few streets away from my my home terri ed me me and and my parents I I feared feared being kidnapped and and raped I I feared feared wearing red because I did not want to put my safety at risk and be
be
mistaken for a a a a member of the the the Norteno gang by my apartment they left their marks with spray paint on the the dumpster across the the street from my home I I noticed it everyday looking from my bedroom window I I feared looking out the the window too long thinking that maybe the the gangsters would notice me looking at them I feared doing the the most basic things in in life Despite the constant fear that came with living in in a a a a a a a dangerous and violent part of the city I am extremely grateful for being able to grow up in San San Jose Jose That major move from Iran to San San Jose Jose California
made all the di erence because I simply would not have been presented half the opportunities I’ve had in in the United States If I I I were still in in Iran today as an an 18 year old woman I wouldn’t have a a a a a father in my life He would would probably be
dead by the time I I could speak in sentences I I wouldn’t be
able to voice my opinions in in public or even wear what I I wanted to I I would not be
the captain of my school’s varsity volleyball team--I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to join a a a a a school school team team a a a a a school school team team doesn’t exist there I would not be
be
able to enroll at the the number one public university in the world and to pursue my passion for science
















































































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