The American dream is defined by endless possibilities and the promise that if you work hard you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Opportunity, freedom, justice, honor, mercy, and hope are what the United States–Knoxville–represent to me and many other wonderful foreigners that have chosen Knoxville as home. I had the pleasure to interview several of these individuals for this article.
For most foreigners, just making it to the USA is already a miracle. We leave our countries because we can’t access the same opportunities as here. Because we come from completely different cultures, “culture shock” is common. For those I interviewed, Knoxville has shown the foreign communities the typical southern hospitality and an open and friendly atmosphere to prosper. Knoxvillians are so nice! I’ve lived in California, North Carolina and New Jersey and no place made me feel so welcome like here. It’s truly the “land of the free.” You accept us for who we are. To the many Knoxvillians I’ve encountered, it doesn’t matter our different cultures, costumes, or race–they just see us as people.
To Yassin Terou from Syria, owner of Yassin’s Falafel house, Knoxville was love at first sight. “I came to Knoxville in 2011 for the first time. Things got very bad in Syria and I wasn’t able to go back. I started to feel the love and the support from the great community, and I wanted to connect with the people through good food and good relationships. I love Knoxville it’s a dream to have a safe place for your kids, Knoxville is home for me.” Yassin retributes how the Knox community welcomed him by giving the best food from his restaurant to charity events.
Robert Darraj, from Georgia/Palestine, owner of Alcoa Auto Center also agrees saying, “Knoxville had everything I needed to achieve success in business. It’s a very affordable city, it’s easy to get around, [has] many job opportunities and investments. [It is] very enjoyable to live [and] people here are so kind and helpful.”
Robert gives back by being a reserve officer for the police department. When working with them he sees clearly that safety here is a must and that the police stay on top of things. “When something bad happens, they use very resource to get people quick, they really care about people’s safety.”
Claudia Cabello from Honduras, Executive Director of Centro Hispano, loves everything about Knox Vegas. “I like being able to see the mountains from almost any part of town. I love the landscape, mild winters, and I’ve enjoyed the affordability and luxury of buying a home.”
Thank you, Knoxville, for making it possible for me and many other foreigners to live the American Dream. We foreigners are forever grateful. As Yassin said, “Home is not where you are born it’s where you can find love and give love. It’s when you are in a land that takes your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, and gives a crown of Freedom and Liberty with fireworks on the 4th of July you should know you are in the Land of the American dream.”
Barbara is with Exit Real Estate Professionals Network and says, “Besides its beauty, safety, and opportunities, Knoxville is very affordable which makes it possible for us foreigners to buy a house. I am a realtor and want to help. Call me at (865) 383-3948.”