Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Huda from Libya. Huda wanted to move to the United States to learn English, find a good career, and start her own family. Huda’s dream came true when she applied and won the Green Card Lottery and moved to the United States for a better life. Huda said her goodbyes to her family in Libya, and left for Southern California, USA.
When she arrived at John Wayne Airport in Irvine, California, she was excited and ready to start her new life. She had worked hard and saved money for a few months of expenses in the USA. She stayed at a Motel 6, an inexpensive hotel, for a week, while she looked for an apartment and a night school to take English classes. She learned to use public transportation and traveled to different cities in Orange County, California to search for apartments and schools that offered English as a Second Language classes for free at night. Finally, she decided to move to Anaheim, California, where she found a studio apartment as well as North Orange Community Education, part of North Orange County Community College District, which offered free English as a Second Language classes at night and on Saturdays.
Huda enrolled in the language classes and started studying English. Her favorite class was a beginner’s level class because it was so easy. She said, “It was really easy. It wasn’t hard. It was really easy.” Huda said, “I like it because I can get everything I need for free. It’s really nice.” Huda said she was happy with her life and her new apartment and she was ready to make new friends. Huda said that she could understand the language, but she struggled to speak the English language fluently.
Huda said that learning English was difficult, because she did not speak any English before she came to the United States. She had learned Arabic first, and later Spanish in high school. She said that she did not have much formal training or experience in English until she came to the United States. Huda said she had some help from her English teacher, Maestro Sersea, who was very helpful. She said she struggled with the new language, but did what she could to learn and practice her English skills every day. She would go to a public library every morning and look for free books to read, and learn vocabulary words from them. Huda also watched a lot of TV shows and movies in English, especially American television and films.
Within a month from arriving in the United States, Huda had her own apartment and was already successful in her English class at night. She began looking for jobs. Although her English was not fluent, she was lucky to be fluent in Spanish because a majority of the population in Anaheim were Spanish speakers. She spoke to her neighbors who worked at Disneyland and they helped her find a job working in one of the Disneyland restaurants where she got a job in the kitchen preparing food.
She said, “I am happy. I’m learning. I want to get better.” Huda said she worked hard, and learned new skills because she liked cooking. She worked at Disneyland for two years. Huda said that she was happy with her job at Disneyland, because it was fun to work with people she knew. She said that she liked working with her friends and other staff members. Huda said that she was grateful that she could find a good job and a place to live in a country she did not know before.
Then, after her second year, she got a better job that paid a lot more than she had been making at Disneyland. Huda said she loved her job and enjoyed making great food for people and taking pride in her work. Huda was hired as Assistant Manager at a fast food restaurant called Taco Bell. She bought a brand new Ford Focus, and was happy with her new car.
Huda continued to go to school at night and improve her English. Now that she’s been studying English for two straight years, she has made great improvements in her English fluency. Her teacher, Maestro Sersea was very proud of her and recommended her for a scholarship.
The Orange County Community College District had a scholarship program for students who were studying in the English as a Second Language program. Huda applied for the scholarship and won it. She said that the money helped her buy more books and materials to learn English, which made her happy. She received a letter from the scholarship office, and it said that she was recognized as a top student at North Orange County Community College District. Huda said that she was excited about getting the scholarship. Her dream was still alive. She continued to study English and learn how to speak the language fluently.
Huda began thinking about marriage and she wanted to get married. She found a man named Mohammed who lived in Anaheim, California. He was a friend of her neighbor. Huda said, “I was interested in him because he was a Muslim.
I thought that I could be more comfortable with someone who is Muslim.” Huda said she thought that him being Muslim would help her stay in touch with her heritage. Huda met Mohammed again when she went to the local mosque to pray. He was there when she arrived, and they talked. Then, she asked him if she could join him at the mosque. They began meeting each other regularly at the mosque. Huda said that he had helped her a lot. They were very friendly and respectful to each other. She liked his character and personality. Mohammed was also helpful with her learning English and studying. He was always trying to help her. Huda and Mohammed spent a lot of time together reading the Quran, and studying the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Huda and Mohammed got engaged. Huda said she and Mohammed were happy and everything went well. Her job as an Assistant Manager at Taco Bell paid well and she finally completed the advanced level of her ESL classes. Huda and Mohammed continued to be happy. They got married, and Huda started to live with Mohammed and his family. She said that she felt comfortable with Mohammed and his family, and they loved her too. Huda said that the family was very nice and warm to her.
Huda was happy to have a family that loved her and that she was successful in the United States of America. A short while after she got married, Huda became pregnant. She had twins and now she felt her life was complete. She now had a family of her own, she had a husband who she respected and loved, and she had a job that paid well. She worked hard to reach this happy stage of her life but it was all worth it. She was happy she made the decision to move to the United States of America and start a new life.
English Learners, what did you think of this story? What did you like, and what did you want to be different? How would you continue this story? Add your insights in the comments section below.