Last month, we received a note from Jove Nally, an 8th grade student originally from Virginia who is currently living in Nairobi, Kenya with his family. While in Kenya, he is studying at the International School of Kenya (ISK), where they have been studying refugee issues for the past semester as a part of his 8th grade Capstone project. As a result, Jove was interested in speaking to a refugee and was hoping that we could help.
USCRI Detroit staff were more than happy to make his wish comes true and quickly connected him with Aya. Aya is a 21 year old refugee originally from Iraq, having fled around 2006/2007 for Syria. For more than 7 years, she was immersed into new life in Syria, getting a majority of her education and English language training there. Unfortunately, the situation in Syria became too dire over the years for she and her family to stay. So, once again they were forced to flee, this time to Jordan. Now, with the help of USCRI, Aya was resettled in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with her mother, father, and sister this past September. Aya is currently a college student going to University of Michigan, Dearborn and studying electrical engineering, and USCRI has helped her get a job working at Tim Hortons as well. Upon hearing about Jove’s request, Aya was more than happy to have the opportunity to speak to Jove about her experience as a recent refugee and her plans for the future in her new American home. Soon enough, USCRI staff set up a Skype call between the two so that Aya could share her experiences with Jove one on one.
“I learned a lot from listening to Aya; I admire her very much.” Says Jove of his experience.
Often, we forget just how much we have in common with one another. Through experiences such a this, youth like Jove are able to truly cultivate an understanding of what it means to be a global citizen. Global citizenship is more than economics and politics. It is also about shared humanity.