18 Comments
May 19, 2022·edited May 19, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

Great immigrant story! Having emigrated from former USSR when only Jews could leave, I often think about the random luck of being born into a Jewish family. You think you were scorned for your tight shorts … I entered 8th grade in a Brooklyn middle school with my name spelled Swetlana 😜

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May 19, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

Loved this story! Love the personality it’s infused with!

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May 19, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

Cool story! I love these "stranger in a new land" experiences, and it's always interesting to get this type of insight into the things you take culturally for granted.

On the matter of luck, of course you were lucky to be selected to come to America. But the fact that America was desirable, you and your family's ability to adapt, and that you had applied at all, were not matters of luck in any meaningful sense.

I can't remember where I heard it, but was recently exposed to a quote: "Luck is the residue of design", and I think your circumstances illustrate this wonderfully.

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May 20, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

Great story! I almost never get to play dumb like that but had a chance once. Years ago I (a white guy) lived in Hong Kong for a few years. Anyway, I decided to go skiing in Korea one winter. I was riding the chairlift alone and they loaded up a little Korean kid with me. Kid screwed up his courage and asked: “where you from?” And I answered “Hong Kong” and he was really disappointed. 😈

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This was such an incredible story! I love the stark contrast between the chance of winning the lottery to the author’s family’s reaction and drive to being picked.

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May 20, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

This is wonderful, Yassine. I wish you and yours the best of everything.

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May 20, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

A lovely story. Enjoyed the colour and self-effacing, open writing style.

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May 20, 2022Liked by Yassine Meskhout

Thanks for sharing this story. We are lucky to have you! One possible way to phrase that initial question is "where is that name from?"

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Here's the thing - I (and probably most people) wouldn't even think to ask someone with a swarthy completion and/or a non-anglo name where they are from because lots and lots of people like that were born in the US, and have had families here for potentially generations. But accents are a different story. If someone has a non-native accent, it's obvious that they were born outside the US, and asking where they moved here from is just an innocent question and shouldn't be inferred as anything more sinister.

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Of course there's the view that _everything_ is blind dumb luck. An uncomfortable thought that discards the notion of free will, but it's probably correct.

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