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Local 5th Grader From Turkey Shares Her Story of Hope, Faith, And Strength

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A 5th grader at Homer Brink Elementary school has a remarkable story to tell - so remarkable, she decided to write a book about it. 

The book is titled My Life and it’s about her journey to the United States.

11-year-old Tiba Alsultani didn’t know a word of English when she moved to the Southern Tier just over year ago from Turkey. An Iraqi native, she was born in Iraq, but her family fled to Turkey when she was 6-years old. 

“In my country, it’s not [safe] because one time when I was walking to my house and it was after school, my school just ….bombed. It blew up,” said Alsultani. 

After three years in Turkey, her family sought a better life in the United States and moved to Endwell when she was 9 years old. Not knowing how to speak English when she arrived, she is now fluent and wanted to share her experiences with others. This is why she decided to write a book about her story - one of hope, faith, and strength. 

“Just never give up even if you move to a new school or another country,” said the Alsultani. “It doesn’t matter. The special thing is your safety and your happiness.”

The fifth grader has read her book to other students at the school, ranging from third to fifth graders. She has also read her book to the Board of Education during a recent meeting. Her book is available in her current classroom and in her school library. 

The last page of Tiba Alsultani’s book My Life reads:

“I’m really proud of myself for what I have done in English. I would to thank the whole school for helping me get better at speaking English and making me feel safe and happy! The End.”