The Back Story of Fatemah Hamza

Fatemah Hamza is a senior at George Bush High School and is originally from Iraq. She fled her home country of Iraq several years ago because of the constant hardships faced in hope of having a better life in the United States.

“My experience in Iraq felt like an adventure, but not in a good way. I was born during the war, and having to risk your life everyday just to hang out with family and friends. It was a frightening experience because you couldn’t trust anyone. You could get kidnapped at any moment. It even got to the point of us having to take a getaway car to leave Iraq,” Fatemah said.

Fatemah faced many hardships due to the fact of the violence going on in Iraq because of it being a war zone.

“One of the hardships that I faced was when my father was kidnapped by the Taliban. He was coming home from his bakery and out of nowhere was taken. My father was gone for four days. A ransom had to be paid to get him back, so we sold all of our prized possessions for him to come back home,” Fatemah said.

It was years later that Fatemah and her family had to make the impulsive decision of leaving behind their lives behind in Iraq and starting new one in the United States.

“The reason we migrated to America was because of my father. He knew that living in Iraq wasn’t safe for our family and would not benefit us in any way. He was also thinking about me and my brother’s education. He wanted us to receive the best education we could get, so we would be able to make a life for ourselves,” Fatemah said.

Fatemah coming to America was not in vain because she has received  several opportunities here that were not available in Iraq.

“The opportunities that I received when I came to the U.S.was the education. I felt like was the most important thing for me because it’s what makes me who I am today. Also, living in a safe environment and not having to worry about getting kidnapped or being bombed,” Fatemah said.

While being in America, Fatemah joined the JROTC program, which has shaped her into who she is today.

“JROTC has shaped me into the person I am today because coming in freshman year, I was a shy person who didn’t want to interact with anyone. But having a good mentor in ROTC helped forced me into getting out of my comfort zone and lead and guide people. I now have the ability to give the young cadets the opportunities that were given to me at a young age,” Fatemah said.

By E.O.