English 2000 Section
A Life Away from Home
My first day of tutoring I remember the second grade children all sitting in class paying attention, then after bickering between two boys there was an outbreak of an unexpected language from across the room, Arabic. I knew there were children of Burundi and Sudanese background in the classroom, but the children from both sides were arguing in Arabic, oblivious to the fact that the rest of the classroom had no idea what was going on. This language difference that makes the population of African refugees in Nashville so unique; they all have their own tribal languages, yet the Arabic language unites them with each other while excluding Americans. In Nashville, TN there is a large population of resettled African refugees. Settling in the states anywhere from three to six years ago and the population continues to grow today. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to grow closer to these families and learn more about their past & culture, as I tutor their children on a weekly basis in basic elementary education. The refugee population consists largely of Africans resettled from Sudan and Burundi. Though this community shares similar goals and struggles, this dividing factor of their nationality separates the population more than one would expect.
Since moving to Nashville, this community of refugees has been bound together with similar struggles, backgrounds, traditions, and experiences. Assimilation to America is no easy task, yet it is something each refugee goes through every day. From day one the refugees have all lived in the same government assigned neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are located in gang-infested parts of town in which any parent would be frightened for children to even play outside. The immediate realization that they would not be living the “high life” in America has been a tough concept to grasp for all of the refugees. “It is dangerous here; there are shootings and drugs all...