Saida Salah

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.



Make a Donation



Focus on Youth Greeting Cards now available. You'll find more information and images by following the link.

Don't forget that we're going to be selling really beautiful cards (printed for us by our good friend Al Barreth at Digicraft) at Umpqua Bank's Beaumont-Wilshire branch starting in July. For details, please click BLOG up in the tool bar for the site.

Terrific segment broadcast on KGW NewsChannel 8 called Students Focus on Beauty. Our sincere thanks to Pat Dooris and the folks at KGW who really do care about our community and show it every day. Here's a link to take you to the segment: - Focus On Beauty.

Exhibits & Events

Visit our exhibit at the Lloyd Center Umpqua Bank from July 1st until September 30th.

The Albina Bank in the Pearl is hosting an exhibit of our work during the month of August.