My name is Halwa Abdulkadir Hussein. I was born in Somalia in the town of Hargeysa in 1989. I grew up in Somalia. I am Muslim. I have four brothers and a mom. My father died in 1994, and at that time I was young, so I moved to Kenya.
I came to the United States of America on June 6, 2006. I saw many challenges in the United States, such as the weather. The weather was very cold. I saw many snowstorms that came from the sky. I hadn’t seen snow before, so it was a surprise to me. My country in Somalia was different than the United States. My country’s weather was hot and warm and rainy. When I came to the United States, I began school at Arlington High School as a tenth grader. I am a student and I am also single.
At the beginning of my time in the United States, I had some trouble with an elevator in my apartment. One day I was going to the store, and a man operated the elevator on the way down, but nobody was on the elevator to help me when I wanted to come upstairs.
I didn’t do anything, I just stood on the elevator, and it started to move. I ended up on the twenty-fourth floor. I knocked on the door. A man came out who didn’t speak Somali. I said, “What are you doing here?” in my language. He didn’t understand. He only spoke English. He said, “Who are you? What do you want?” Then I said, “This is my apartment!” He said, “You are crazy.”
I got back in the elevator and tried again. I went to the seventh floor. I went to apartment 703 and knocked again. A girl came out and she said, “What do you want?” She was speaking Somali, so I understood what she was saying. I said, “Okay, I am wrong.” I got on the elevator, and someone else got on, and I found my apartment.
I felt so happy!
Halwa Abdulkadir Hussein is eighteen years old. When she lived in Somalia she spent her free time getting in trouble for fighting. But now in her free time she can be found winning dance competitions or cooking tasty food for her family.