The United States supposedly has an equal education system. In fact, people from all around the world come to America to get the proper education for themselves or their children.

Compared to the Native American experience, it’s very different. They were forced into assimilation in the Carlisle schools and changed. Some of the students there died of poor conditions and diseases in the late 19th century.

My family’s experience was different because when we went to school back in Yemen, the building was bigger. It was easier, and I was more confident. However, when I came to America I felt different and uncomfortable. The education system in Yemen felt higher quality to me. 

man using MacBook

In the United States, it’s commonly believed that it is easier to get a job or get rich. But for the Native Americans, it was harder for them to find jobs or even know where to get a job. On the Pine Ridge reservation, 89% of them were unemployed. Although some of the Native Americans were finding jobs in the casinos, most of them had no work.

Compared to my family, it is different because when my dad was in Yemen he had no job and had to come to America to get a job. A couple of years later, he now owns a hardware store. In my family’s case, this capitalist ideal was true.

brown wooden surface

When Some people get to the United States, they lose their language because they start learning the language of power: English. It’s somewhat the same with Native American because when they were forced to learn English they stopped learning their own language. They were forbidden to speak their native language in the Carlisle school, so many languages became extinct.

The same thing happened to me but my language didn’t go extinct when I got to the United States. I started to learn English, and when I started to speak good English, Arabic came less easily. Language loss is common and that’s the negative side of the American ideal.

image_printPrint this page.


0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 18, 2023 5:05 pm

Hello, thank you for writing about an endlessly fascinating topic. Colonization is something that has occurred in countless places for years on years and has long-lasting effects. I also thank you for expressing your experiences with this, as it shows true courage. Thank you for sharing again!

January 17, 2023 7:06 am

Hello, thank you for using this post to share about colonization and your experiences having moved from Yemen to the United States. I find that you expressed the tragedy of losing certain languages particularly well, and I feel that you elevated that topic of sharing your own experience with Arabic. Thank yo again for sharing.

January 13, 2023 7:52 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post and learning about your own experiences moving from Yemen to the US. I think your writing regarding the sadness surrounding the loss of many languages is so valuable. You did a really good job connecting these things to your own experiences with the English language and Arabic, and I think your story is so important to share.

January 13, 2023 7:45 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience with leaving Yemen to come to the US. I appreciate the fact that you highlighted languages that were forced to become extinct by certain school systems and authorities. The way that your experiences were combined with historical allusions and data provided a unique perspective on America and what it is like to no longer use your native language.

January 13, 2023 7:42 pm

Hammam, I enjoyed reading about your experiences moving from Yemen to the US. You add a valuable perspective to the conversation. I like the way you summarized the historical information on the experience Native Americans went through and then compared it to your own. I also think you very effectively contrasted the American ideal with the more difficult reality many face. I hope to hear more about your story soon.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Email Call or Text 917-612-3006

Missions on Youth Voices
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account