digital photograph | Duck, NC | 2008


“Once after I arrived here, a waitress and I smiled and laughed with each other a lot. Then one day she asked me if I was a Christian. I said ” No, I am a Muslim.” She stopped smiling and never talked to me again. Back in my country Christians and Muslims are friends. In this country, you have connected ‘terrorist’ with ‘Muslim’ too much. I see ‘Muslim Terrorist, Muslim Terrorist, Muslim Terrorist’ everywhere.”  - Sam

Sam came to the U.S. on a guest workers visa from Kazakhstan. He had been promised a fun job as a life guard by the company that arranged his visa. After arriving and paying for his training as a life guard he was told there were no positions available. After traveling to two states looking into promised work he finally found a position as a dishwasher in a restaurant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Sam is studying to be a engineer back home and was too embarrassed to tell his family of his experience and final job opportunity. He is now back at school in Kazakhstan.

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