“I am from Sudan. When fighting broke out in the Darfur region where I lived, my father was killed; he was shot in front of me. I traveled by myself to Kenya and my family they traveled to Chad. To walk from Habila to Niala took me 1 month and from Niala to Nuba Mountain was three months of traveling. I stay Nuba Mountain for 1 hard year. In 2006, I go to Kenya to live in a refugee camp and by 2011 I fly to the USA and land in New York City. In 2013, I decided to move to Nebraska,” said Mubarak about his journey to the Literacy Council of Grand Island. “I came to America because I wanted to get a better education, better life: I wanted to work and make money—my friends tell me to come here.”
Mubarak did not have access to formal education when he was living in the Darfur region of Sudan. During his time spent in the refugee camp in Kenya, Mubarak was paid to learn basic English skills and reading on a computer. Mubarak is literate in Arabic and Masalit, and is able to speak Kisawahili (a Kenyan dialect without a written component).
Mubarak has studied English both on the computer in the Language and Learning Lab, and with his one-on-one tutor, Lyn, at the Literacy Council of Grand Island for about 1 year now. After years of toil and hard work, Mubarak passed his United States Citizenship in July of 2017 with the help of his tutor.
Currently, Mubarak is working in processing at McCain Foods (a local factory in Grand Island), but hopes to save up enough money to bring his wife here from Sudan— she is living in the Corbanga village in Sudan —and to one day start his own grocery store business.
Mubarak is a hard worker. He works over 40 hours a week at McCain Foods and studies for 2-6 hours a week at the Literacy Council. He wishes he had more free time, but knows that he must work hard to achieve his goals.