❝ Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t even fucking understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to Western Union and Money Gram. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on. ❞
Immigrants. First generation.
the afghan taxi-drivers here are a super-tight community. invisible to the rest of the city, absent/in transit for of of the day, chatty, sad and funny at night. one of them told me he gets by because he has the others.
rasheed, who runs a palestinian cafe, has a phd in pol science. hang on, you’ll be okay, he told me.
a, always a, saying he’ll retire next year. we don’t know if we should go back to turkey, he said to me. we have family there, but this is also home now.