Fatima’s Story: “I want them to be better than me. I’m here, stuck.”

Fatima's Story

About the Encounter

“I tell [my children], you don’t have to do anything for me, just go to school and do what you have to do. On the weekend I take them to the mosque, because jeu can learn Arabic and all that. And I just want them to study. That’s all. That’s the main thing. If you want to be someone tomorrow, you have to work hard right now.

I want them to be better than me. I’m here, stuck. I cannot do the work that I want to do because I don’t have the degree for it, so I want them to go to school and not struggle the way I’m struggling right now.”

Fatima, age 32, immigrated from Guinea in 2002

About the Seeing Immigrants Series:

From the time she was a medical student, Joanna Sharpless has been collecting immigration stories to learn more about the struggles and celebrations of being an immigrant in America. For a social medicine project undertaken during residency, she combined excerpts from interviews with a half-dozen of her immigrant patients with photographs of these immigrants holding something of importance to them. Three of these photos and excerpts are presented here. More will be featured in a later issue of Pulse. All of these photos and excerpts are exhibited at the family health center where Dr. Sharpless saw patients during her residency–in the hopes of creating a welcoming atmosphere for current and future immigrants. For Joanna Sharpless’s own story of her interest in immigrants, see “My Immigrant Patients.”

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

About the Encounters Project

The Encounters Project began in the summer of 2017 as a collaboration between Pulse visuals editor Sara Kohrt and two medical students from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Kristen Lee and Erin McCoy. The three photographed and interviewed patients who attend a family health center in the Bronx. Patients were asked to talk about their healthcare experiences, to share stories about their lives outside the clinic walls and to reflect on how these two worlds affect each other.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top