The Light at the End of the Dark Tunnel: A Gay Man Immigrating to America
by Sophia Graham
Sherif Kamel currently lives in New York and leads Rapid Education Action (REACT). He helps educate underprivileged children around the world who are caught in emergency situations. Sherif told a story about two hundred school girls who are trying to get an education in an underprivileged country. The girls were put into the back of a truck, and while the truck was speeding away from their school, two girls jumped out. The two girls walked for four hours and dodged bullets for their freedom. They finally reached a small town, but they had to vow to put an end to their education because of the possibility of being killed.
When Sherif realized his gay sexuality as a young child in Egypt, he knew that he would have to live his life in fear of the possibility of getting caught and going to jail. He had to watch all of his actions on social media, his appearance, and his sexual activity in order to protect himself and his family. He decided that it was safest to emigrate as soon as possible. On Sherif’s journey, he had to lie to his parents, leave everything he knew behind, and teach himself how to live in a polar opposite society. “Every single thing, regardless of how insignificant it seems, means freedom,” said Sherif.
As an anxious and determined teenager, Sherif had no idea that his journey would lead to his positive and successful life that he currently lives, working for prime ministers and presidents. It was a long, fearful, challenging, and sometimes lonely journey, but he now lives life to the fullest and is able to express who he is and who he wants to be.
“Courage is more exhilarating than fear”—Eleanor Roosevelt