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America, My Home Essay Contest

Video Essay Winner

Rashid Mamun
LaGuardia Community College
Long Island City, New York
Sponsoring Station: Thirteen/WNET, New York

Watch Rashid's essay

NOTE: Due to heavy demand, video may not always be available — especially during peak hours of 5pm to midnight ET. Please try back later if you are having problems.

Ever since he was a child, Rashid was interested in U.S. filmmaking. As a young man he came from Bangladesh with his family to study filmmaking in the United States. On September 11, 2001, Rashid's mother woke him up to view the attack on the World Trade Center towers. Learning that someone of his own Muslim religion was responsible for the attack, Rashid felt anger and shame. After September 11th, he was referred to as a Muslim terrorist and "Taliban." But, when visiting Bangladesh later that year, he was called an American and treated with disdain when he expressed pro-American feelings. Now, Rashid does not know where he fits into two differing cultures. As Rashid expresses, "Who am I?"

Written Essay Winner

Feifei P.
Brighton High School
Rochester, New York
Sponsoring Station: WXXI, Rochester, New York

Read Feifei's essay

Fefei, a Chinese immigrant who has lived in the United States for a year and a half, wrote this essay as a part of her high school English as a Second Language class. She writes of her fear of coming to a new country and entering high school for the first time, and of the acceptance she found and friends she made there. Feifei also writes of how the events of September 11, 2001 affected her, and shares that even though she misses her homeland, her experience watching a school memorial made her feel like she belongs as an American.

Audio Essay Winner

Sejal P.
Mt. Vernon Township High School
Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Sponsoring Station: WSIU, Carbondale, Illinois

Listen to Sejal's audio essay or read the companion written essay

NOTE: Due to heavy demand, audio may not always be available — especially during peak hours of 5pm to midnight ET. Please try back later if you are having problems.

Sejal was born in America, but her parents are immigrants from India. She says that at a young age she wasn't sure if she was American or Asian Indian, but that she has learned to embrace the traditions of both cultures.

Read more essay entries