From there to now.
Does where we come from define who we are? The street we were born on, the parents we were born to, the weather that day. The food that made us grow, the siblings that joined our family, the grandmas that took care of us, the grounds we played on. The bombs that fell in front of our houses, the guns that were put against our faces, the journey it took to be safe.
My name is Rita Masoud and I am a refugee. I have pushed away many of my memories, but it’s time to bring them back. Because now is not there. Because there is not now. And because this is not something I should forget. I’d like to share my story because it might help one other person in this world to be strong. To see that the future is bright, that we are resilient creatures that can overcome everything. We can overcome broken hearts, bullying, failure, loss – even war.
I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. We fled to The Netherlands when I was seven and I grew up there. I currently live in San Francisco, and work for Google. This is my journey to here and to now – my story and all things that inspire me to move on and believe in myself and in this world.
With this blog, I’m hoping to document my own journey but also share stories of other ordinary people who live extraordinary lives – and how their struggles led to their success. I want to show that refugees are not just helpless people that need support and resources — because once they’ve found their way, they will contribute and they will give back. And I hope to show that courage, hope, optimism and strength can help you overcome anything – really anything.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure where this blog is going. But hey, I heard life is not about the destination but about the journey. So I’ll just start, come along.
* I don’t have many photos of the journey, but here is one that’s burned into my memory. This was en route with a train from Afghanistan to Russia, taking a break in Tajikistan — with my dad (32), mom (28), me (almost 7), sister (5), brother (2) and some belongings.