About 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 traveled 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 maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.
Meet Chaithanya Sohan.
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 http://www.rethinkreality.com. Chaithanya enjoys traveling and runs her own blogs http://www.nomadicsue.wordpress.com & http://www.wordspeare.wordpress.com.
Meet Shaima Adin.
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.
Guest Post – Home to an Immigrant
I have been an immigrant for more than half my life. I am good at being an immigrant more than a citizen of a place. I don’t remember what it feels like to blend into the crowd. “Where are you from?” is something I get asked all the time. People rarely pencil me down as Indian because of my British accent and European facial features as they call it. Yet, I am as Indian as the person with the Indian accent. What does it mean to be an immigrant? Had someone asked me this question before stamping my passport when I first entered America, I would have failed miserably. Today, after sixteen years as an immigrant, I know what that means. Moving to America as a teenager has helped me develop a sense of self that being born and raised in India did not. Even as I live among family and peers who call themselves Indian- American, I define myself as Indian. In spite of being eligible for US citizenship, I have retained my Indian passport as a sign of my belonging to the place I was born in. I fear becoming an US citizenship would strip me of the place I continue to call home and the place where the dead body of my dad rests. Which is home is a question I have always asked myself? Is it the country where I was born, the country that holds the ashes of the man whose identity defines me or the country that I work and live in?
The journey to becoming an immigrant began months before I embarked on my flight ride from India to America. In spite of speaking good English, I was forced to learn the American pronunciation of words before my TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. I sat in my room with headphones on trying to pronounce photography in American English. After two exams (TOEFL and SAT), and one real test (immigration interview), I thought the words; “Welcome to the United States of America” was the finale to the long journey. I thought the hardest part of my American journey was over. A day into my arrival, I was walking the streets of Pleasanton when a stranger asked me “How are you?” I stopped my walk trying to answer the question as he walked right past me. I was absolutely confused. Why did he ask me how I was and did not wait for my response? I did not know then that How are you was almost like a Hello. As a tomboy, American fashion proved challenging. It took two years for my baggy jeans to get tighter and my t-shirts to morph into fashionable tops. Moments like this inspired the birth of America Deconstructed, a short story collection about immigrants in America.
I have had several moments when I have hoped for an immigrant manual to ease the stress of the situation. The initial years when I was assimilating with the American culture were challenging and lonely. America Deconstructed was born in those moments when my immigrant friends and I shared our experiences in America. Sixteen immigrants have shared their journey in this book as they have recounted their humorous and embarrassing situation, their trials and tribulations. There is everything from love, war, romance, loss, marriage and kids. Please support us by pre-ordering our book by clicking the link below: https://publishizer.com/america-deconstructed/
Social Media access for America Deconstructed –
The crowdfunding campaign will go live on March 13th, 2017.