“Welcome to the United States of America”, the immigration officer said in my direction. As a teenager, I was clueless on the enormity of those words. My family and I did not know those words allowed us a sense of freedom. We no longer had to look behind our back in fear of jeopardizing our American dream.. We failed to understand we were in the Promised Land. Today, after doing fifteen years to potential life in America, I know the enormity of those words. In 2001, I was crossing borders for the first time. I had never left India until that first flight ride to America. Today as an avid traveller who walks through immigration at least twice in a year, “welcome to the United States of America” marks a celebration.
On that chilly July evening, my life as an immigrant or an American Alien officially began. I was given an alien number. I felt privileged to be an alien in America until I saw a Hollywood movie with slimy, green aliens. The word Alien felt less privileged by the end of the two hour movie. That was my first tryst with cultural difference. The days and years ahead had several embarrassing moments such as standing at the Starbucks counter wondering what a Frappuccino or Cappuccino was or being called Shitanya. At every embarrassing moment I hoped they handed me a manual of past experiences so I could feel less alien and more American. America Deconstructed was born in those moments.
America Deconstructed is the love child of that American Alien who walked into America fifteen years ago. Every immigrant journey is filled with funny, embarrassing moments that stem from cultural differences. This book chronicles those moments as it explores life, love and family. If you are looking for a easy read for a lazy Sunday afternoon with steaming hot cup of tea, please pre-order our book by clicking the link below.
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Chaithanya Sohan immigrated to America from India in 2001. She currently works as an Electrical Engineer in the Silicon Valley. Chaithanya graduated from San Jose State University with Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University.
Chaithanya Sohan has worked as a writer since 2002 when she started writing content for various websites. She free-lanced as a writer until 2013 when she decided to write her book America Deconstructed. Some of her works are published in websites such as www.rethinkreality.com. Chaithanya enjoys traveling and runs her own blogs www.nomadicsue.wordpress.com & www.wordspeare.wordpress.com.
Shaima Adin came to the United States as a refugee in May 2000 at the age of 16 with her mother and sisters. She is originally from Afghanistan but has lived several years of her life in Pakistan as a refugee as well. Currently, she works in an engineering management position at a Safety and Quality-testing laboratory in Union City, CA.
In light of recent times and all the debate about immigrants and refugees around the world, Shaima joined forces with Chaithanya to put forth the stories of immigrants from different backgrounds that have called America home. Her purpose in doing so is to paint a different picture of immigrants and refugees by displaying their side of the stories and the struggles of starting from nothing.
SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK:
Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan. His story, “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he travelled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream. “I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidibere and Ifeyinwa and their struggles with language, culture and being African in America. In the story “Kosovo, really...cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white. In the story “I am exotic, mocha, P-Diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America. America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants as they manoeuvre cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.
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