Foysal S.

  • New Jersey

What does America mean to you?

By Foysal S.
Elizabeth, New Jersey

America means to me the opportunity to be my best self and to create the life that I want for me and my family. I came to the Northern Jersey when I was four years old. I was immersed in the diverse community near New York and my traditional Bengali culture. The first time I went outside the Tri-state area is with the Boys and Girls Club to Dallas, TX. To be able to see the different types of people, the new architecture, and the vast American nature I have to explore.

During the summer of last year, I decided to bike around my whole county. Town by town, I had biked 100+ miles by the end. A lot of my close friends and family told me to stop exploring- they said it was too dangerous – but it brought to true joy. Due to financial constraints my family had seldom travelled but I take every opportunity to go myself. 50 states, I have my whole life but I’ll eventually reach them all. If not by plane then by bus. If not by bus then by walking. I hope to see an America where the people of this country are not constrained to their city, stuck in space and time.

If I were back in Bangladesh I would have to try 100 times harder to be put in a position of success. I believe in the American Dream but youre going to be willing to work for it. Americans are being denied their basic rights everyday. To just live free and equal is a struggle for some. The United States which was built upon pure foundations but does not always exhibit them in practice. If the government isn’t willing to help us, we should take the initiative to help ourselves. Even what people say we have such a diverse population. Thats what I love about America. You could go from one town from the other and meet people sharing an infinite number of unique stories. Throughout the good and bad I hope to see America moving towards the direction of not only righteous international relations but a united country as well.