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Eman Elbaeh

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Eman Elbaeh was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1974. She immigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen to marry a U.S. citizen. She is the mother of three children.

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0:03:08

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Eman Elbaeh Transcription
My name is Eman Elbaeh. I was born in September 17, 1974 in Alexandria, Egypt. In Egypt, women are protected. I was not allowed to go out without being with my father or another family member. I wasn’t able to see the world for myself. I immigrated to America when I married an American citizen. His name was Mahmoud Hassan. I was only 19 years old, and we had known each other for just 45 days. I didn’t know what to expect in America. I found many things hard and so different. I was used to have strong family, but my husband did not have those values. He lost it when he came to America [a] long time ago. So I didn’t know anyone, or talk to anyone in America. I wasn’t know English very good. I thought my husband would spend time with me. But he was raised in America. He spent his time partying and drinking with his friends. Mahmoud’s drinking was against our Islamic belief. Therefore, I did not like alcohol. I thought I would be free and happy in America, but I was even more depressed than I was in Egypt.
I wasn’t happy for a long time. I wanted to make another life and to be happy after I was alone and depressed. I thought, if I learned English I would be more happy and I can live the life in America. A few years after I had in American I get my first son. His name Adam. Adam made my life better, but I still depressed. When I get pregnant again, I thought I had to change something. I worked to learn English. I watched the news. I went work with Mahmoud’s mother and she help me a lot with the English, and his sisters too. When I had Ahmed, 1996, my life [was] getting better. I could finally talk with people in English. I didn’t have to depend on people anymore when I went out. I was busy with Adam and Ahmed, but I make friends in Egyptian community. While it took longer than I thought, I found the American dream.