There are many narratives that tell stories of immigrants who came to the United States in search of the quintessential ‘American dream’ – a good job, a house with a yard for the kids to play in, financial security, and the freedom to follow your heart to wherever it may lead you. This narrative is one that holds a sense of awe and mysticism, and it seems that everyone has heard of the inspiring success stories. They may even have wondered what their life would be like if they took a chance and tried something completely new - but what about the narrative of the ex-patriot who leaves this dream in search of a new one? This story is one that tells the untold narrative of not the ex-patriot, but his son - Simon Amoni, who watched his father figure move to another country halfway across the world for his job, taking his mother, and thus almost his entire support system with him.
There can be many interpretations of this narrative and many themes that prevail, but it is most interesting to see how world-views can become altered so quickly that we do not even remember when it happened. It is hard to imagine the sacrifices that moving to another country entails, some that many people will never know and cannot even imagine. While these of course depend on the people involved, many of them are the same. Family gets left behind back home, it is inevitable – and thus, family becomes disconnected. Entire ways of life must change and be adapted to the new surroundings. These are struggles that even if everyone does not go through them, they can acknowledge their strength.
This is Simon Amoni’s story.
Simon at his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Twenty-eight hours later and the plane finally touches down. It was an exhausting trip both mentally and physically - full of the stresses of travel, but also of uncertainty. He has flown across the globe but at least he’s finally here, for the first time. His parents welcome him with open arms and excitement in their eyes, but this is not home for him. It is a completely different and foreign world, and one that has completely changed not only his perspective but almost every aspect of his life, and most certainly, his family’s life.