Lifelong Refugee Finds a Place to Call Home
The United Nations estimates that more than 45 million people worldwide are refugees.
For most of his life, Awadh Alsrya was a refugee. He was never a citizen of any country. Now, he finally has a place to call his home.
Alsrya became a citizen of the United States last month on July 4, American Independence Day. It was then that he, his two sons and 80 other people took the oath of citizenship at a ceremony in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Alsrya waited more than half a century before becoming a U.S. citizen.
"When I passed my (citizenship) test, I cried because this was my dream for 58 years. It was a long time. I was waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting."
Awadh Alsrya was born in Iraq. His parents were Palestinian refugees.
Before coming to the United States, Alsrya and his family lived in Baghdad. There, he operated a successful grocery business with an Iraqi partner.
In 2003, the United States and its allies launched a military campaign to disarm Iraq. The U.S.-Iraq War was followed by outbreaks of sectarian violence.
"Every day when I open my door, I see dead bodies in the street. When I go to my store, I see dead bodies in the street. This is not life."
When Alsrya's business partner was shot and killed, and his wife was shot in the shoulder, the family got their belongings and left Baghdad.
"I closed everything. I don't need anything. I lost all my money, all my businesses. I only wanted to save my sons and my family to leave because I thought one day, one month, my sons might get killed."
He and his family came to the United States six years ago through the State Department's refugee program. They resettled in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Believe me, the first day when I came to America, I don't know what happened from my body, I just felt this is my country."
Now, Alsrya works in a grocery store, which is similar to his former business in Iraq. His youngest son also has a part-time job there.
"I like this job. I want to give (back) America because she gave me a citizenship. I want to give her more. Until now for six years, I didn't take a vacation..."
Since becoming U.S. citizens, he and his sons have requested passports for the first time in their lives.
"May my God give me more time to live. I will give back America more, more, more, more because America helped make my dream come true."
I'm Marsha James.
1.Independence Day 独立日
I am told that American people also celebrate Independence Day.
2.half a century 半个世纪
Spiritualism was a fad in full flower for half a century.
3.military campaign 军事行动
They planned out the military campaign.
4.sectarian violence 宗派暴力事件
Karachi has seen bursts of ethnic and sectarian violence.
1.It was then that he, his two sons and 80 other people took the oath of citizenship at a ceremony in Charlottesville, Virginia.
took oath 宣誓
Bush took oath that he would fill the office of president faithfully.
The witness took oath that he had seen the defendant leaving the scene of the crime.
2.His youngest son also has a part-time job there.
part-time job 兼职
She' s looking for a part-time job.
She got a part-time job to supplement the family income.
Awadh Alsrya的多半生都是作为一位难民度过的 。他不属于任何国家 。而现在，他终于找到了自己的祖国 。
在7月4号的美国独立日，Alsrya成为一名美国公民 。当日，Alsrya和两个儿子及另外80人在弗吉尼亚州夏洛茨维尔举行的入籍仪式上宣誓 。
“通过公民测试时我哭了，这是我58年来的夙愿 。这是个漫长的过程 。我一直在等待，等待，不停地等待 。”
Awadh Alsrya出生于伊拉克 。他的父母是巴勒斯坦难民 。
投奔美国前，Alsrya一家生活在巴格达 。在那里，他与一位伊拉克人合伙经营着一家生意红火的杂货店 。
2003年，美国及其盟国发起了解除伊拉克武装的军事行动 。美伊战争结束后，宗派暴力事件接踵而至 。
“每天打开房门，都能看到街道上的尸体 。去商店的路上也遍布着尸体 。这根本不是人过的日子 。”
“我关掉了店铺，我什么也不需要 。我放弃了所有的财产和生意 。只想让全家人安全离开这里，我知道或许某月某日一觉醒来，我的儿子可能已身首异处 。”
6年前，借着美国国务院的难民接收计划，他们一家人来到美国 。他们在弗吉尼亚州的夏洛茨维尔重新定居下来 。
现在，Alsrya在一家杂货店工作，与之前在伊拉克做的生意相差无几 。他的小儿子也在店里做兼职 。
“我喜欢这份工作，我会回报美国，因为美国让我拥有了新的身份 。我会奉献更多 。6年了，我从未休假过 。”
“上帝保佑我能多活几年 。我会为美国奉献更多，因为美国让我美梦成真 。”