As part of a five-part series exploring the experiences of young refugees in Pittsburgh, Hamadi Hamadi, 15, shares the story of his life back in Kenya and the journey that brought his family to America.
“Kenya when I was there, my family was poor,” he said. “We had a farm over there. My dad, he used to work in the farm, and he used to call us, me and my brother, to go over there to work.”
Hamadi’s aunt, who was already living in the United States, used to phone his father and tell him about life in her new country.
Two years ago, Hamadi’s family resettled in Pennsylvania.
“I saw in America it was a good place,” he said. “Pittsburgh is a cool place. I like it.”
He now lives in Northview Heights, where he gets together with his friends to play soccer, his favorite sport. He started playing when he was 5 years old. “Yeah, I know I’m good,” he said.
Hamadi said initially, school was a challenge, but his first teacher helped him spell and improve his writing.
This year, he’s starting high school. He’s nervous but also, “excited, because I’m going there to make new friends.”
Hamadi said he hopes to continue his education and grow up to become a doctor.