1). I left Kuwait when I was a child with my family. I was born without nationality, and my parents wanted to make sure me and my brothers had a chance to live fulfilling lives. I was so young, but I could feel the pain of leaving. When we came to New Mexico, my identity card had written on it :
“Place of birth: Kuwait. Nationality: Undefined.”
Here I am, the smaller of the two, before immigrating.
Here I am in Middle School, petting this herder’s baby goat during a winter sandstorm.
4.) At 15, I became a citizen. Finally, recognition from a sovereign nation. When people talk about sending immigrants back to where they came from, I think “Joke’s on you! I have nowhere to go back to.”
5.) When I landed in Kuwait this last May, border control asked if I’d ever resided in Kuwait. I should’ve asked him the same thing.
6.) I love the sea in Kuwait. It reminds me of my dad. It reminds me of when my family was together. I remember stories. I think of my uncle’s passion for the sea before being killed in the war, my ancestors, my cousins, the colors, the history, and my mortality. Every time I leave Kuwait, my heart breaks into a million pieces.
Whenever I return to New Mexico, people say, “hey, you’re back home.” I found a lot of beautiful places to grow. From the Flamenco community, the University, and the people from here.