At only 18 years old Duaah Hammad is a published author that is helping immigrants from around the world transition to making the United States their home. Her book, “Finding Home,” is her story on the hardships she has faced and how she has overcome them, allowing her to find peace with all the pieces of her identity.
I am 18 years old, and this summer I published a book called “Finding Home” on Amazon about my experiences on what it’s like to grow up as a child of color in America.
I came here when I was 3 years old and I spent my entire childhood trying to fit into American culture. I resented everything that made me different, whether that be my appearance or roots because it made me stand out and be bullied.
Growing up as a brown girl, it’s like there are two different wars going on at the same time. As you grow up you’re told you are too conservative for America, but you’re too liberal for the people back home. So you’re a foreigner in two lands that are supposed to be your own, but both lands tell you to keep silent. America tells you to be quiet because you’re a minority and a foreigner. Pakistan tells you to be quiet because you’re a girl who simply does not understand because you live abroad.
My book is about struggling to fit myself between two cultures, something I feel so many children of immigrants struggle with. We try our best to feel like we belong somewhere, and in the middle we end up losing ourselves from the different expectations. “Finding Home” is a collection of poetry on what it’s like growing up being pulled, breaking traditional barriers, living in a post 9/11 world, and the importance of loving yourself before you love others.
I wrote this book because I was tired of sitting back and seeing the America I believe in and love crumble in front of me. But I also wrote it because I want to help other immigrants go through what I went through because I know my parents weren’t the only ones struggling to have their children remember their roots. It’s not an easy process, uprooting yourself for a better life, but it’s one millions of people have gone through. I’m glad to be part of this immigration story, and I’m here for anyone who needs someone during the process.