This is my first time at this library. We usually go to Linden Hills or the St. Louis Park one. Usually it’s for my son, for story time. He’s bilingual. Before he started daycare we spoke only Arabic at home, so I wanted him to be exposed more to other languages. The other things were to socialize and to be able to sit down in one place and listen for longer periods of time.
We’re from Syria. We came to the United States seven years ago. At that point Syria was a normal country in the Middle East. No war, nothing. My husband and I are both medical graduates from Damascus, so we came here to specialize and get all of the knowledge here. We thought that we could go back and start our own practice. But after the war started it became impossible, especially now.
I’m lucky to have my parents and siblings here. They live in California. But all my husband’s family are there. We’re worried all the time that something bad will happen, that we’re gonna lose them. It’s been a while since we last saw them. They’re not allowed to come here with the visa issues. They’ve never seen my son; we only video chat. It’s difficult, but we try to live with it.
I’m really thankful for all the people here, especially in Minnesota. Even though I’m not from here, they make me feel like I am welcome and I really appreciate it.
Reem with son Jude at Hennepin County Library — Walker.