Marcella Rahmon’s Story

Facing College: Immigrant & International Students’ Stories from Mott Community College (Flint, MI)


Marcella Rahmon’s Story

As retold by Janasia Thomas-Gant

The Move:  Part One

My mom is crying and embracing this familiar man

My father

It’s noisy

I look around

There are suitcases everywhere

This isn’t Palestine anymore

It’s warmer in Palestine

No color-changing leaves

I’m told that I’m in Toronto, Canada

At the new place there will be people like me

Other 6 year olds who have been in this position before

Hell Around Me

Arriving at the new home with old furniture

A huge change for me

My dad bought a Faygo Red Pop

Tasted like heaven

Compared to the hell that surrounded me

My bed smelled of urine

The darkness that clouded the room

The same darkness that now clouded my insides

The French girl across the hall will get me

Who knows what that friendship could be


Realizing Charlotte, my new French friend

Went back to France with her family

Now 45 Greencrest

I mean “home”

Felt a little less “home” again

School is tomorrow

I can only guess how my day will turn out

Feeling of isolation got deeper


Cold weather

Feeling alone

I feel aloof

No one understood me at school

My words

My feelings

I ate lunch alone

The smells of my hometown foods made me stand out

Not in the way I like

That’s why I spent my first few years in silence

No words

No socializing

The Library

Everyday just felt tougher

I wanted to make the best of this

A refugee library

Where I found my inner peace

The librarian didn’t treat me different

In the library

I mattered

In the library

This feeling of isolation begin to release

The Move:  Part Two

Leaving Toronto

Leaving my growth



The idea of reality left behind

Being in Flint, Michigan

A move forward

While I was traveling back in time

I had comfort in Canada

This unfair decision

Just as tough as the first one

Feeling of isolation

Had build back up

Lost & Found


My cousins and Aunt Nadia may make the move easier

They didn’t

I felt alone

Back into silence for a year

My red 10-speed

My escape from feelings

I found my way to the public library

My safe spot

Where my mind felt clear.

I Will Stay

Everything felt better

My isolation

Self-imposed at this point

I made friends

I developed crushes

I found my way

I think about the “what-ifs” of Palestine

All the things I’m missing

With this life I am building

Flint is where I will stay.

Kind Note to the World:

I hope one day that I and other people who have gone through what I’ve gone through can be accepted and tolerated. We are all one human family. Just think of all the things we, immigrants, lost:  Our families, our language, our peers. Be more empathetic. We, immigrants, bring a lot to the table.

Please don’t be afraid to partner with us, to reach out to us. Let’s just help one another. Let’s make one another better. That’s all I want. That’s all we as a human race need.  Love.

-Janasia Thomas-Gant


This story originally appeared in Facing College: Immigrant & International Students’ Stories, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan.

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