Nesma Botrous

My name is Nesma Botrous and I am twenty years old.   I was born in Egypt in July 5, 1989.  I lived with my family, my mother, four brothers and four sisters.  My father died when I was six years old.   We lived in a house in El Manena.   I went to school and I liked it.  I liked to play games with my brothers and sisters.  When I was sixteen I married my husband, Ashraf who was twentyfive.   My sister was married to his brother.  My sister and her husband decided that I should marry Ashraf.  I liked him and I thought he was handsome.

I married Ashraf because my family wanted me to and I was okay with it.  When I got married I moved to another city, named Bnesyef.  We lived in a house and my husband worked at the supermarket.   We were happy and we would go to the cinema and the park.  During the day I cook and clean the house.  In September 2006 I gave birth to my daughter, Sandy.

I was happy to have a baby even though I wanted a boy.  My sister and mother in law helped with the baby.  We all lived together, my sister, her husband, my mother-in-law and my sister’s three children.  We got the lottery to come to America in 2007 when my daughter was one year old.  We sent a letter to the immigration office in the U.S. and we got picked to come here.

We wanted to come to the US for a good job and a better life.  I was sad to leave my family but we could have a better future.  My family was crying and they were very sad for me to leave.  On September 25, 2007 we left from Cairo and we flew to New York and then to Portland Oregon.  We came to Portland because my brother was and my relative Emad Hana lived here.   Emad and Rafaat came to pick us up at the airport.  We went to my brothers and stayed for a while until we got an apartment.  My husband got a job at the Arco gas station.  He could speak English a little, but I could not.   I got pregnant with my daughter Sylvia and she was born 2009, she is one year old now.

I came to Focus on Youth and I am learning to be a good photographer.  I am learning English and photography.    I have perfect attendance and was honored at Christmas for being an outstanding photography student.   My photographs were entered in a contest and selected to be exhibited at the Gresham Visual Arts Gallery.   I like photography because I like taking nature photographs and good photos of myself and my friends and my teachers and my children.  I like my teachers she helps me and teaches how to take good photographs that I am proud of.  My teacher is nice to me and friendly.

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Visit our exhibit at the Umpqua Bank in Multnomah Village.

A special thank you to Pearl Bakery and Eric Lester who will be hosting a fund raiser for Focus on Youth on February 17, 2015