Traveling Country Borders(lines)


Adam Abudayyeh holds up his countries flag and shows he is proud to be both American and Dubinian.

Kelly Hayes

Adam Abudayyeh (10) was born in Dubai with his younger brother and he lived there until five years ago when his family moved Indiana for his father’s business. When Abudayyeh first moved here there were many challenges and differences.  

“It’s hard to explain unless you actually experience moving from one place to another that’s totally different in 500 ways, like here there is grass, its green, and it’s hot or cold, but in Dubai it’s either hot or warm,” said Abudayyeh.   

Weather is just one of the many challenges Abudayyeh and his family has faced. When he moved, he had to start over in a completely different environment.

“When I first came here, people thought I was going to blow up the school, there was a lot of racism, I would sit in lunch and class by myself. I’ve blocked that out though. I remember going back to my parents and asking why am I here, why can’t we go back there it was my home, I don’t know anything here, here is way different.”  

When Abudayyeh first arrived his biggest challenge was learning to deal with his first snowy winter, but as the time passed more problems arised. Racism was a big part of his life for a while, but eventually he started to feel at home and fit in better.

There are some differences in lifestyle and culture from Dubai to Indiana but there can be advantages as well as differences.

“Our culture is way different. Here you get to do whatever you want there is a lot more freedom. Some advantages [deal with] education. We have better education in Indiana than in Dubai,” said Abudayyeh.  

Education is very important to Adam and his family. The Abudayyeh family pushes him to do his best in every way. Adam’s father first came to America when he was 17, and since then he has created his own business and has taken parts of it back to Dubai, but parts of it will always remain in Chicago where he started.

“We wanted to go somewhere where education and doing well in school was important. My dad would always say ‘if you do good in this I will buy you this’. I respect my dad for that though because he’s looking out for me and I never want to take that for granted,” said Abudayyeh.  

Through many struggles, difficult times and happy memories Adam seems to have become proud of the time he spent in America. Adam will continue to visit Dubai but he chooses to live in Indiana.