For me, the photo that I chose of the Chicago skyline was the most beautiful one out of all the photos I took for this project. It was the first time I saw Chicago from this location near the museum campus: I saw that the buildings were so tall, the weather was so bright, the air was so clear and the grass was so green. Most of the time in Kabul, Afghanistan, where I am from, there is a lot of dust from industry, from the vehicles and from the roads, and there is not much green.
The first time I ever saw tall buildings in person was here in Chicago. I had only seen them before on TV. The experience was so amazing for me because it made me hope that someday in the future there will be a beautiful skyline in Kabul.
Seeing the Chicago skyline also brought back a memory from 18 years ago when all of the tall buildings in Kabul were destroyed during the civil war. I recall thinking back then, “I hope one day that this city can rebuild, that all the bad things like war and corruption and destruction will be buried, and that all the good things will grow and prosper.”
In the online exhibit Picturing a New Life in Chicago, people who were forced to flee their home countries because of war, persecution or violence share photos and inspiring stories about adjusting to a new life here. Some of the photographers came to Chicago through a refugee resettlement program. Others sought political asylum. Learn more in Online Exhibit: Forced Migration Photovoice Project.