“The car moved real quick,” he said. “And then it flipped over a couple of times. And after that everything went blank for a moment (Dikori).” Shamsoun Dikori had just lost his loving mother, sister, and two youngest brothers in a car crash. To any typical person this would be the most devastating catastrophe in their life, but to Shamsoun it was just adding insult to injury. After being forced to flee his home, being bullied by racist comments, and suffering the death of numerous loved ones, Shamsoun Dikori became stronger and more determined to succeed in life. Shamsoun Dikori and his family are from the Nuba Mountains in Central Sudan. They lived in a fertile valley and where their dad, Daldoum, was a profitable farmer. They lived a nice, enjoyable life. Shamsoun remembers his mom telling him stories under the moon, and running outside playing soccer with friends (Dikori). Their life was simple, until the second Sudanese war. Shamsoun was the oldest of his brothers and sisters, and he is the only one to remember the first time the bombings began; h, he was 10 years old at the time. “We were playing outside and we thought it was birds,” Shamsoun said. “Then the bombs started to fall and everybody started running” (John 135-145).
He remembers seeing a little girl die. I it was the first death he had seen, but it wouldn’t be the last. Thosee bombs flipped Shamsoun’s life around. His family rounded up all belongings they could and fled for the mountains. There and rounded up all belongings they could, they made a hut in a small village and farmed the neighboring hillside to survive (John 135-145). It wasn’t much though, and the family was barely surviving. They eventually gave up and moved to Khartoum (the same capital that originally kicked them out of their home) but there, they at least had food. In Khartoum the people were very mean, and hateful toward Christian’s such as Shamsoun. They began an attempt to ship all the Christians back into the south or Nuba Mountains to continue the campaign of terror (John 135-145). They were also forcing all the Christians to convert their names to Muslim onesnames. The Dikori family was once again forced to flee, and this time to Egypt. Although they escaped from persecution, life was no easier. After Egypt revoked a treaty with Sudan, many not all Sudanese people were not allowed to work or to receive , not all were allowed for subsidized housing, and they all treated very poorly.
Shamsoun’s father went to the refugee office and they eventually received tickets to Atlanta, Georgia. They were very lucky, because the office was rejecting 70% of applicants at the time. (John 135-145). Shamsoun was only ten and already had to flee not only his country but his entire continent. His family arrived in Atlanta in 2000, where they quickly tried to settle in (John 135-145). They took English classes and learned about American culture (John 135-145) but there was no doubt it that Atlanta was n’t not like their previous home. Although they now had the right to personal liberty and could do as they pleased, life was not all that simple. They were barely getting by and lived in a poverty-ridden neighborhood. I and in the classroom Shamsoun was bullied for his ethnicity, and reminded every day that he was still an outsider (Dikori). Shamsoun’s mother admonished him to stay strong (Dikori) and ignore the bullies.
She had a dream for him to be the first in the family to go to college. , she was Shamsoun’s mother was his motivation to do well in school and to never give up. On the night before the family’s second Thanksgiving, they packed into their Mazda Minivan and set off for a good time in Tennessee. As they were driving down a twisting, and turning road late at night the car lost control. After flipping numerous times it finally stopped, but not after before killing Shamsoun’s mother, sister, and two of his brothers. His life was had once again been flipped. He had again lost a dear part of his life, a life that was finally starting to make since sense again. Life became incredulously incredibly hard for the remaining family after that. Robin (shamsoun’s brother) began to act out in school and his temper rose quickly. Idwar (shamsoun’s brother) became very quiet and hardly talked to anyone about the problems he was facing. His dad wasn’t very affectionate, so Shamsoun was left to comfort and support his brothers, but even though he, himself, was still coping with the loss and it wasn’t easy (John 135-145).
Shamsoun no longer had his mother’s support and was desperate for guidance. His life was falling apart in front of him, and he needed structure. That is when he found the Fugees. The Fugees were a soccer team made up of refugee children just like Shamsoun (Dikori). He decided to try out and brought both of his brothers with him. They all made the team. but Shamsoun of course was on an older team. His coach, Mrs. Luma Mufleh, told him to bring his homework to practice (Dikori). She told them they were student athletes and school would always come first. Shamsoun felt as if he had found another mother and his dedication to school was quickly restored. Robin calmed down and became outgoing with his teammates (John 135-145). Idwar was still quiet but gained confidence every day. “Soccer kept the boys sane.” Shamsoun said. (John 125-145). Shamsoun excelled on the soccer field, and began to excel in his academics as well.
He received a full scholarship to Pfeiffer University for four years (Dikori). The scholarship was a combination of academic scholarships and a soccer scholarship all put together (Dikori). He had once again risen from the deep depths of the ashes and fulfilled his mothers dream for him. Now as a student at Pfeiffer University, he has continued to push forth and succeed. He has developed a program called “Schools for Life, Inc” to build a new school in Sudan (Pfeiffer News Service). Right now, Sudan has hardly any schools, and many teens and young adults have no education (Pfeiffer News Service). The education level is very low and because supplies and teachers are very limited (Pfeiffer News Service). Shamsoun’s hometown has hardly recovered any schools since the devastation of the wars.
Many students take classes under makeshift canopies (Pfeiffer News Service). and Shamsoun’s goal is to help turn that around. Shamsoun Dikori has already experienced more pain in his short life than most people will in a lifetime. The hardships he has had to overcome did not break him, but made him stronger and more determined. Not only did he graduate from high school, he received a full scholarship to college. Shamshoun, has beenwas interviewed on the Today Show and , mentioned in numerous writingsarticles, and he managed to created a program to help the less fortunate. The death of his loved ones, having to flee his home, and being bullied by bias comments made him stronger; it provided him with perseverance to go through life and the determination not to let anything slow him down. Maybe we can all take a page out of Mr. Dikori’s book. H, hardships should make us stronger, not weaker.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 October 2016
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