Yemenis in the United States are sharing their stories more, especially after being included in the 6 Muslim countries that have been issued a travel ban by US President Donald Trump. Through their stories, they intend to shed light to the Yemeni society to the US and the world.
Most of the Yemeni immigrants who first came to the United States were single men who sought opportunities that would enable them to provide for their families they left behind. There were also a few who traveled with their entire family leaving everything behind in order to start anew. The immigration was the result of the pull factor that the US offered as a result of numerous opportunities in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Today, we have Yemenis that have been born and brought up in the US and have even acquired an education. Sarah Alsihwi is a good example. She was able to go through high school and is currently a first-year Biomedical Engineering student. She got an opportunity to visit her home country and what she saw birthed a need for her to raise awareness of the situation back home. She counts it a privilege to have an opportunity to study and help her home country in the future.
There is also the story of a Yemeni American who greatly benefited from the US. We are talking about a woman with no formal education, one who could not speak English. She, however, was lucky to land a job in a machine shop where she worked hard getting her bosses to notice her. Within no time she received pay raises and job promotions. With this, she was able to take care of her father who was ailing and at the same time meet all the needs of her family. Today, the woman who has beaten all odds is running a successful manufacturing company that she co-owns with her husband.
Esa Amany is a teacher at a public school. Her story is not about religion. In fact, she demystifies the difference between religion and culture. She explains that it is culture and heritage that affects a community despite the fact that she came from an Islamic Nation. She stresses that her religion is not what affects her day to day life. She speaks of how back in Yemen women were meant to be in the kitchen and the fields carrying out other domestic chores. In simple terms, education was a no-go zone for women in Yemen. The United States has enabled many like Esa acquire an education. This way they empower more Yemenis who will educate their daughters and at the same time make a contribution the US.
There are numerous positive stories about the Yemenis in the United States and most of this success stories are an inspiration to many. The knowledge and experience gained over time are used to help many Yemenis that do not have the opportunities to be resilient and beat all the odds they face.