Growing up in Afghanistan, my mom worked as a teacher and my dad was the Minister of Agriculture. We lived a very happy, normal life. We would go to carnivals ‘til late at night, or to movies with aunts, uncles and cousins. We could visit our relatives anytime we wanted and travel to other parts of the country. Everything changed dramatically when Russia invaded. A curfew was implemented, and we were not as free as we used to be.
I remember losing our house in a rocket attack during the Taliban [period]. The stress of losing our house and belongings made my mom very ill. We escaped by paying smugglers to go to Pakistan, where we lived for nine months. My aunt in England applied for permanent residency for my family to move to England and seek medical attention for my mom.
When we first arrived, we spoke very little English. My aunt supported us for six months. My dad started working as a construction worker and we started back to school. I graduated high school and college. I met my husband in England, We were engaged for one year, then, got married.
My greatest obstacle I have faced in America was working full time, going to school to get my aesthetician license, and raising a family with no immediate family nearby to help. And yet I have experienced great joy in being an American by having freedom and the having the opportunity to go to school and become successful. Today, I am a licensed aesthetician and professional make-up artist. I have extensive experience as a beauty advisor for several cosmetic lines. As a graduate of the Euro Institute, I have a wide range of knowledge and skills, both technical and holistic. For the past 10 years, I have been working for Gaboriau Center as a Clinical Aesthetician.