My name is Saida Salah and I am twenty-one years old. I was born in Africa, in Somalia. I was thirteen when I left Somalia because there were problems. People were killing people. There was no government. My father walked downtown and they shot him and he died. My brother died. All of my family has died. I just have my cousins. The soldiers come to my house and they killed my grandfather When my bother went to town the soldiers killed him. After my father and mother died I went to a refugee camp in Kenya.
I lived in refugee camp in a tent for three years. I was interviewed and told I could go to America. I came by myself and then I stayed with my cousin and his wife. I lived with my cousin one year, now I live with my aunt. Four of us live in a house in Northeast. My cousin works in shoe factory and I go to school.I came to Focus on Youth in 2009 and I am learning photography and English. I have friends like Nesma and Madeha, from Egypt, Johawaaray from Somalia, Jasmine from Mexico, Marie from Haiti and Hannah from Romania. My friend Marie took this photo of me at the Washington Park Rose Garden. I like going on field trips with the mentors and my friends from school. I like taking beautiful photographs and I like having my photograph taken. One of my favorite photographs of a flower was in a photo exhibit at a gallery.
I like to learn and to practice to speak English. I like all my mentors because they help me and they teach to take beautiful photographs. I want to earn a certificate to graduate and get a good job. When I finish school I want to get a job like a translator. After I get a good job I would like to get married.