When people hear the United States of America, they usually think about freedom. However, I feel like “freedom” in the U.S. is overstated. Americans may have more rights than people in other countries, but do we really have as much as some say? 
I thought America symbolized a country of rights, freedom and opportunities. I thought America was a country like no other; a powerful country, full of wonderful people who came from many different countries around the world. I thought of myself as an American even though last year, when I first arrived, I didn’t even know how to ask, “how are you?”  
Something happened to make me change my thinking about America. It was last year at JFK airport in New York, the first time I stepped foot on U.S. territory. I felt very joyous because I thought I was free! My uncle picked me up from the airport since I came by myself because my father could not come with me.  
Before we got out of the airport, I saw something that wasn't fair: a man tried to pull off the hijab of a Muslim woman in front of me. I stood there in shock. He was yelling at her like she was inferior, “Pull off that thing, you are free here, in a free country, so why keep covering yourself?” 
He kept talking, “If you want to do that go back to your f>>king country!” The woman started to cry. She was terrorized and responded with more tears. Crying, she exclaimed, “Leave me alone! I’ve done nothing to you!”  
After I observed this horrible scene, I was completely devastated because this man attacked an innocent woman. Never shall I forget the face of this woman, never shall I forget the fact that I saw an injustice and did nothing.  
My uncle, who was with me while that horrific situation happened, didn’t feel good either. He told me, “Abou, you thought everything was positive in the United States, right? I have spent eight years in this country and see those situations every day!” This surprised me.  
He continued, “Anyway, now you can see with your own eyes! This is a part of the reality of the United States.” When he was done talking I just shook my head. Can you imagine the feeling of seeing an injustice in front of you, and you did nothing? It's painful, it makes your heart cold, in fear of yourself.   
Even though America has a lot of faults, it can positively impact the life of many people, as it did my own. Without America, I could not have learned English, learned to be be more mature, or met new people like my ESL teacher, Miss Assiraj, who always pushes me forward.  
America has really impacted my education and my life in a good way. There is so much I can accomplish today. I talk without stress or fear. I can make a speech in public.  
Now that I’m a part of the United States, my responsibility is to stand up against injustice.  
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Never shall I forget the moment my mother stood up for our family during the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It happened in 2003 when I was five-years-old.  
The war was between two tribes: Hema, our tribe, and Lendu. My mom told me that before the war, most people in our tribe were cattle keepers and Lendu were farmers. The Lendu tribe complained that our cows were destroying their plantations. We were rich and we had everything, and they were telling us, “Please don’t let your cows destroy our plantation.” The Hema people disregarded the Lendu people. But then, they started to steal our cows. Next, they started to kill people at night from other states.  
We thought it would not happen in our state, but one night the Lendu attacked us. When they were almost at our home my mom, dad and brothers heard the neighbors screaming. My parents and brother ran outside and saw the house of our neighbor burning and people sobbing because people were burning in their houses.  
After seeing all of these things my mom said, “I can’t leave my daughter here.” 
She returned to the house and called me, “My daughter, wake up! We are going to die!” she screamed.  
“What? Mom? What happened?” I responded, still sleeping. 
“Wake up,” she said.  
I was frightened and woke up quickly in my bed. 
When I looked at her, I saw the tears on her face and I also started to cry.  
“Stop crying, my daughter” she said. “Let’s go.”  
She took my hand and we ran. 
“Where are we going, Mom?” I asked her.  
“We are going to hide in the forest until morning and we are going to search for your dad and brothers, I don’t know where they are my daughter,” my mom said.  
“Are the animals going to eat us Mom?” I asked.  
“Don’t worry my daughter, God will protect us. We will not see any animals here,” she said.  
Very early in the morning we saw my dad and brothers who were also searching for us. I was overjoyed and hugged them and my mom, too. We thanked God for saving us all because many people lost their family, but we were still alive, even though they took all of our resources.  
After one week, we moved to Uganda and started new lives as refugees. That changed my life by having new friends, learning new languages and working hard. Still, living in a new country made my life difficult.  
Remember, God never leaves His believers, and He protected us in that situation. Mom, I want to tell you: you are strongest woman and I want to thank you for the wonderful job you did for me. Let God keep you forever and ever, Mom.
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Never shall I forget the moment when the doctors in Santo Domingo told me I needed a complicated operation on my heart as soon as possible. They ran some tests and found something very dangerous in my heart. My grandmother started crying, so I started crying, too. I thought  I could die or something terrible would happen to me. But, I was more worried about my grandmother because she looked so upset, I thought something could happen to her, too.   
My grandmother was sad because she thought I was going to suffer and she could not do anything about it. She felt like a bystander who didn’t know how to help me. She came close to me, sobbing, and said, “Oh my nieto, everything will be okay. I swear God will help us. Don't worry, I'm here with you.” 
“I am so scared about this, what if something bad happens during the operation,” I said.  
“I told you that everything will be okay. Don't worry and cree en dios, that He will help us,” my grandmother said. 
“Did you have an operation like this before?” I asked her. 
“No,” she answered. “But I believe in God, and the doctor says everything will be okay.” 
The doctor told us that the operation would be in five days and that we could go back home. I moved in with my grandmother so that she could give me homeopathic medicine from her mother, and also pray to God every day and every night. She made me an unpleasant medication that was thick, brown and smelled disgusting. 
I saw how my grandmother cares about me and does her best just to help me. The day after we prayed to God, my grandmother looked at me and said, “I love you so much, you are everything in my life.” 
Finally the day of the operation came. I was nervous. Some of my family was there, but just my grandmother and my mom were in the hospital room with me. They tried to calm me down. My grandmother held my hands very tightly. The doctor came to give me the last test. A few minutes later the he came back and said a miracle had happened. 
“You, Victor Tejada, don't need an operation,” the doctor said. 
“But how did this happen, doctor? We don't understand,” my mom said.  
“I know, I'm surprised too, because the problem you had in your heart disappeared. It is a miracle,” the doctor said.  
My grandmother and I were in shock. We didn't say anything. I looked at her and she looked at me. We still said nothing. I gave her a hug and said, “I love you. Thank God for giving me this beautiful family that I love.” 
It was like this that my grandmother saved me.  
From this moment, I learned that the people who love you are the only ones you need to be happy in your life, and also health. There are many people and children in the world that do not have family, so I need to say thank God for my family and for the people who love me. 
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The year is 2865. Climate change is terrorizing the world. The words “polar bear” and “penguin” are foreign to the ears of citizens. 

Mayor Smith was sitting on her couch at home one day when she heard people screaming. As mayor, Smith was naturally concerned. She wanted to know what was going on. It turned out that someone had burned to a crisp.

Later that day, Mayor Smith held a press conference where she revealed, “The world is ending!” 

The people of Australia were flabbergasted. They didn’t understand that global warming was so bad, even though they were sick of not being able to go outside without sunscreen, an umbrella or any type of protection from the heat. But it was more than that, people were dying, passing out from heat strokes and dehydration.

Major Smith spent only a few short hours trying to decide on a solution that would make everyone happy. During the press conference the next day, she unveiled her plan to gift each family in Australia a fan and an air conditioner. She also promised to dump at least 1,000 pounds of ice into the ocean a day. 

The people of Australia were content with this answer and lived happily ever after. For the next two years, at least. 
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We women are the ones who have to keep the house in top shape for our lovely visitors, which are men who make a mess, talk about sports, and treat us like trash. So, we women need to come together and get rid of them. All of them.

Then, men wouldn’t cause us any problems. Not only will our paychecks be better (because there is nothing for us to compare it to) but our houses will stay in tip-top shape.

Also, the phrase “man up” would no longer exist. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who takes the saying “man up” seriously. In fact, I’ve never met someone who would automatically link “man up” to actual men because, let’s be real, men are the most unreliable creatures out there. Their egos are basically a target practice that we women hit every time. 

The phrase “man up” is supposed to represent the idea of men getting over things. That is because they are forgetful. In fact, they’re completely useless.

I guess the only problem will be reproduction. But, it’s not like we women can’t figure it out.
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