Yu Sin Yan
30th March, 2015
His Life , His Life
My Uncle, Hai Long and Haileab, struggled with two different countries. Haileab was born in Seraye and Hai Long was born in Vietnam; they both immigrated to the US as refugees. Haileab was the best doctor in Sudan and Hai Long was a brilliant student in Vietnam, as well as a talented person. What were the differences in their lives after they became refugees in the US? What were the similarities in their lives in their own countries before they became refugees? And would they be in that same situation?
Haileab was born in Seraye, Eritrea in 1934. He left the monastery at nine years old and went to his other relative, who was nicer, but didn’t have enough money to fully support him. He worked as a cleaner at a local hospital, and while he cleaned up he would listen to the doctors talk. Later, he took a test to qualify as a full purpose dresser. He would eventually flee his home and become a refugee in the US. Hai Long was born in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City in 1943. He had a wealthy and well educated family. His family supported him to study noble school in Vietnam; also, he was humble and loved to volunteer. Besides, he got an offer from the Vietnam National University in 1960, which was one of the top three Universities in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the Vietnam War was happening at the same time. The city was in a mess and the
government announced that anyone above 18 needs to be enlisted into the army. Therefore, a lot of Intelligentsia tried to escape from the war. He ended up becoming a refugee in the US.
The causes for immigration were the same for both and their situations were similar. They were both Intelligentsia in their countries. Haileab was the best dancer and doctor; he was good with the basics of science and Hai Long was a talented student; he was good at Mathematics and Biology. In addition, Haileab and Hai Long both flew to the US and went for survival. Haileab over came the civil war in Ethiopia as well as Hai Long over came the war in Vietnam. In addition, their son and daughter also graduated from University of Harvard.
Haileab and Hai Long had different lifestyles after they arrived to the US. For Haileab, he flew to the US with his wife and three kids, as opposed to Hai Long who went to the US alone. Hai Long went to live with his rich relative in Southern Mississippi after he went to US; he worked in his relative’s shop for a year. He really wanted to finish his degree because he was already 19 years old. Therefore, his relative sent him to University of Southern Mississippi, where he got his scholarship. He also finished his Masters degree in 1967 and met his wife at the University of Southern Mississippi; he got married to his wife and had a daughter with her. Besides, Hai Long passed away at ninety years old, therefore he could attend his daughter's graduation and marriage ceremony. In contrast to, Haileab’s life, it was much harder than Hai Long's after he moved to US. He didn’t have any relatives to help him out and settled down his entire family alone. Luckily, he got a job as a janitor at Wheaton College but he worked there for only a few months,
and then his eyesight started to fail. Eventually, Haileab’s physical condition worsened; he couldn’t work and spent his time in the house. In addition, he was involved in a car accident which led to his early death. Hai Long’s life was more lucky and stable as opposed to Haileab’s life which was a lot miserable.
These are some similarities and differences but the most different was that Hai Long had better fortune.
He had a relative supporting his education which led to the completion of his degree in University; also, he became a professor at the University of California Los Angeles. Therefore, he had a better life after he arrived to the US. On the contrary to Haileab’s life, he had a much more difficult life upon his arrival to the US. He had trouble finding his job; he worked there just for a few months before his eyesight started to fail. In addition, he could not see his son graduate from the famous school, the University of Harvard.