I am Sima and this is my hero

Sima is 17 years old, smoothly dressed, an ordinary young woman it seems.  She makes herself understood in a mixture of Dutch and English.

My dad had a problem with the Taliban, he was killed. Then they looked for his family. My sister then fled to Greece. Afterwards, my mom and I followed. Now we are all in Belgium. My sister has been allowed to stay.

I have not been here long, two years. I have only been here two months. After six weeks of OKAN (Dutch language bath for newcomers), I can already speak a handful of Dutch and do an internship. I go to school in Sint-Idesbald to learn to clean and work with older people, to talk to them and give them food. Older people speak dialect, which is hard to do.

Now I am nervous.  Soon I have an interview at the Commissariat. I am very worried about it.

My hero is Mrs. Cindy of OKAN because she teaches me to speak Dutch well. There were other very good teachers too. But she was the sweetest teacher, with a big heart.  Meanwhile, I call her and we send messages. She says I am learning languages very well. She is married and has two children. She is my hero.

Sima Omari from Afghanistan

Read all stories from the expo: https://www.langemark-poelkapelle.be/en/this-is-me-and-this-is-my-hero