First Days in America is a set of non-narrated audio and digital stories that highlight the experiences of immigrants in a changing America. This project was produced at Syracuse University in May 2019.
From a refugee camp to her own classroom, a Somali woman aspires to teach
Hamdi Farah lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for the first 12 years of her life before settling in Syracuse with her family. At first, she struggled in school but found a passion for teaching refugee children like herself at the North Side Learning Center.
A Somali refugee who once spoke no English now helps other immigrants bridge the language gap
Khadijo Abdulkadir decided she wouldn’t let language be a barrier to her success in the United States. Now she’s teaching other immigrants to communicate, adapt and find their own success in Syracuse through her translation business.
Immigrant couple provides halal food — and community — to Syracuse’s Northside
Syracuse has become home for Hani and Tatyana Mahmud, who immigrated from Egypt and Russia almost two decades ago. As Muslim immigrants, they realized there was something missing in Central New York: halal food.
This community organizer’s lifelong legacy of service stretches from Puerto Rico to Syracuse
Rita Paniagua came to Syracuse and didn’t think she would stay, but 16 years later, she has firmly entrenched herself in the city’s civic life by serving its Latino community.
Her decisions made her an outsider, but this single mother doesn’t feel alone
A divorced mother of four, Jan-Juba Arway is about to earn a master’s degree at Syracuse University. She knows she’s ostracized in her own Sudanese community, and she’s OK with that.