Where are you from?

I’m from The Gambia

What was your childhood like?

I moved to Saudi Arabia when I was 6 and lived there for 14 years. I did not spend my time outside playing as a child, I stayed at home majority of the time.

What brought you to Cleveland?

I currently live in Kent. I’m here on a student visa getting my Bachelor’s Degree.

What were your first thoughts about coming to the United States? Did those change?

I have the chance to study in a country with plenty of opportunities and no it has not changed.

What challenges did you face as transitioning here?

Interacting with others. As I have mentioned before, I was secluded growing up and I did not have the chance to interact with many people. I also struggled with being shy and this is a country where everyone talks to everyone.

What is your occupation?

Currently an undergraduate student

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Absolutely, I have met many Clevelanders that made me feel safe in a new environment.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

This is not necessarily a tradition but I do practice being kind and compassionate to anyone I meet.

What do you love about Cleveland?

The love they have for their sport fans.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

When any of us travel to a new place, we expect people to be kind towards us because we are not familiar with the setting. It is important to make other people feel welcome into our home because we are all trying to live a good life and we all do things we are not supposed to do. We have to be able to understand immigrants and refugees because not many of them have lived a privileged life, so they migrate to a place that is safer than their own homes. We all want to feel safe.

Why is it important to travel abroad?

For knowledge and experience.