Audio Recording of Interview
Muhammad explains his experience immigrating to the U.S. after working for the American army as an interpreter for ten years, where he developed lung cancer but survived due to Medicaid. He describes his current life, practicing Islam, learning HVAC repair, with his wife learning English and son in an American elementary school.
Other interviews of this person can be found below:
Narrator: Muhammad Yousofi
Location: Alexandria, VA
Summary: Muhammad explains his experience immigrating to the U.S. after working for the American army as an interpreter for ten years, where he developed lung cancer but survived due to Medicaid. He describes his current life, practicing Islam, learning HVAC repair, with his wife learning English and son in an American elementary school.
Topics: Employment, violence, immigration process, illness, education, family, religion, religious practice, place of worship, future
Section 1: (00:00-15:00)
Employment, violence, immigration- From Afghanistan, came to the US in 2016. Worked with the US army in Afghanistan, a dangerous position to be in. People who worked for the US army are targeted, especially interpreters. His wife worried when he was late coming home. Given a special immigration visa because of the work he did for the army and got a green card after 4-5 days.
Employment, education - Worked on his English step by step and started working as an interpreter in 2006. Describes a big need for interpreters, good job opportunities. Talks about the young generation which wants to study and save the country.
Immigration process - Eventually, his commander asks if he wants to go to the US. Takes two years from the meeting to get to the US. Muhammad ends up living in PA. They give him 6 months rent and a place to live. He gets a job which ends up being bad for his health (chemicals in paint).
Section 2: (15:00-27:28)
Illness- Develops a tumor in his lung which is very painful even after treatment. The doctor gives Muhammad two places which can give him treatment; he picks the DC area because he knows someone there who can help him. He applies to Medicaid, gets many tests done, tumor is growing, and he feels very weak. Doctors decide to remove the tumor. He still needs to go in every three months for a CT scan. Has trouble breathing sometimes and has a machine which helps him.
Section 3: (27:29-53:23)
Employment, education, family- Just started going to school again for AC and heating. Received some financial help from social services to pay for his education, cannot support his family with the jobs they were finding for him previously. His wife has been studying English. Wants her to be a part of the community and not have to stay at home all day without company. She is sick right now but works. He wants her to be healthy. His son is in elementary school, corrects his parents’ English, and does his homework.
Religion - Muhammad’s parents were Muslim and so is he. His parents taught him the values of Islam, of respecting humanity and doing the good work. He states that Islam does not condone the killing of innocents. Says he served for the US army to help his country.
Education- Wants to continue his education as much as he can. Says many of his friends are also working hard and studying.
Section 4: (53:33-1:15:46)
Religious practice, family- Still prays but says that God understands if you cannot fast when sick or when a job needs to be done. Certain things need to take more priority during certain moments. He asks for God’s forgiveness. Tries to show his son how to be a good person, to respect others, let others speak, etc. His family all believes in God.
Place of Worship - There are mosques in Alexandria, but sometimes they have also been invited to pray in a church as well.
Future- Thinks of the US as his country now, and his son is the US’s future. Grateful for the soldiers and the police that keep the peace. Works hard and sees a bright future for himself and his family. Gives advice to others who came like he did: to work hard and study. Muhammad is happy and proud to be here, wants to eventually pass the citizenship test with his wife. Wants to keep having goals and keep moving forward.