Photo:

Misty & Summer O.

Afghanistan - USA, Mexico - USA

, Education & Marketing
Fullerton, CA

Our Baba jaan (our paternal grandfather) escaped Afghanistan under political asylum. He was a high ranking political figure prior to the 1979 coup d'etat. Once here, he opened his own business, was active in writing letters to elected officials, and helped raise 3 of his grandchildren. He always taught us that this was a great country, that it took our family in when our lives were in danger, and offered us the opportunity to become anything. Our Papu (our maternal grandfather) was born in a border town that was originally Mexican. As time passed, the river marking the border moved. The townspeople were allowed to pick their country; my grandfather chose America. He grew up in the poverty of the projects, but still loved his country enough to enlist & serve in WWII. After the war, he became a teacher and participated in the Chicano rights movement. We believe that both of those family narratives illustrate what truly makes America great- freedom. We have the freedom to speak out against oppression without fear of retaliation. We have the freedom to question our leaders and demand a better way. We have the freedom to chose how we live. And when we extend that freedom to someone new, someone who didn't have it before, we inspire citizens who don't just enjoy those freedoms, but defend them with fervor.

Why did your family come to the United States? Our father's family came to escape execution & oppression. Our mother's family didn't immigrate; they chose to be American.

What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned? A family of educators, advocates, veterans, doctors, lawyers- compassionate men and women who have spent their lives in service to others and who represent what is fundamental to America: freedom and opportunity. And two women who prove different cultures and faiths can be blended with love.