“What… is… the… matter?”
The teacher sounds out each syllable, pausing as photos of injuries flash on a projection screen. If you go to the doctor, she says, these are words you’ll need to know.
In this Atlanta classroom, dozens of refugees who just arrived in the United States take notes.
Like them, Abdalla wants to learn. But he finds it hard to focus on the lesson.
He’s thinking of his daughter, Batulo.
She’s the one who soaks her feet in cold water to keep from dozing off while she studies.
She’s the one who taught him the basics of speaking and writing in English.
She’s the one who makes her brothers and sisters do their homework.
She’s the one who should be here.
Abdalla is a tailor who barely had a chance to study in their native Somalia. Batulo is a bright student who loved to share lessons she learned at school.
She’s 22 and dreams of becoming a doctor.
Only days ago, Abdalla…