Yesterday Kamel became a citizen! Tomorrow he’s going to be here, guest posting, about his own experience with the whole thing, but for now let me tell you – for anyone who was born here, seeing a citizenship ceremony is a must do.

Aside from the part where I was bursting with pride for Kamel, and choked up from the moment my parents and I dropped him off in his seating line, the ceremony itself is incredibly touching. People from all over the world are still scraping by to be part of the United States and that makes me appreciate the freedoms we have here so much more. As my parents and I talked about afterwards, we think every citizen should have to go through the oath, the ceremony, see why people make such a long journey through time and money and physical space to be here, to be able to vote, to have freedom of speech and religion and have the option to have a better life. Because even though the American Dream may be over blown, it still exists.

Yes, poverty exists in the United States. Yes, our government is flawed and big business rules in ways it shouldn’t. But! We can say we hate the government on a public blog and call them names and the law upholds my right to do so. I don’t have to worry about men with guns busting through my door. And I have the option to opt out of saying, “In God We Trust” or any other acknowledgement of God in government forms.

And while I scramble to build my career out of what I “like to do” and what I’m “good at,” I give thanks to being fortunate enough to live in a country that allows me to put my passions first. There are always going to be exceptions and unfortunate events, but their are success stories of people coming from poverty, from war torn countries, from dictators and oppression and being able to live a life of success and safety and comfort in the United States.

And for the humbling experience of taking a moment to not thumb my nose at the government and instead knowing the ability to do so is a right few people have, to understand in a real way how proud others are to renounce their country of origin and become an American, I am incredibly grateful.

16 thoughts on “Americana”

  1. Holy wow, what a great reality check. I have friends who have done this and this just makes me appreciate their journey that much more. Hugs to you both!!

  2. Congratulations Kamel, it’s been a long way.
    But… did you have to give up your nationality ? Because, funny, I just mentioned you last Friday (maybe you saw? ) in a post about mexicans making it big in the world and you were one of by live flesh examples.

    1. He is a dual citizen with Mexico, but during the oath you have to say you won’t put any other government ahead of the US government. But now he’s both Mexican and American. I’ll have him talk about that tomorrow. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      AND YES. The food! Every time we talk to other Mexicans it’s a 45 min food conversation! hahaha πŸ™‚

      1. I was wondering about that- I’m a dual citizen (Irish-American) but I know a lot of countries won’t let you do that. I didn’t know you could add citizenships, I thought you had to be born with both. Can’t wait to read what Kamel has to say about it!

    2. Yeah I was thinking the same thing… I’m not 100% certain what I want to do with my citizenship. I think I want to share the same citizenship as my kids but I’d hate to renounce my home country citizenship because that would be weird… getting a visa to visit my mom. ugh. I don’t know.

  3. I think I needed this today. Seriously, I feel inspired after reading this. Thank you.

    And a big fat CONGRATULATIONS to Kamel!!

  4. congratulations to both of you. You cannot imagine how good, hard working pleople need to struggle to get a resident-citizenship status. I guess I will have my chance on 2014!

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