"After a while I got a job working as a cashier at a shoe store in Clairemont, which was a better job. But I started thinking, How am I going to better myself if I'm working all the time like this? I need to study. I need a more flexible schedule. So, you know, you're an immigrant and you meet other immigrants; you make friends. I knew these Somalis who drove taxis, and they said I should try it. They said if you work hard, you can make good money. You make your own schedule. You can go to school. For three months, I've been driving a cab. I live with a friend in a very, very small house in Lemon Grove. I pay $300 a month, sometimes more with utilities. But it's very small. I need to find a good apartment. It's hard. It's difficult. The rents in San Diego are so high and they keep going up. I don't know what I'm going to do. Some friends say things are cheaper in Texas.
"My parents think I'm gone with the wind, part of the lost generation. When I get depressed, I call them. They tell me I can come back whenever I want. I can work for my father. I'm the only member of my entire family to leave Egypt. They don't understand. I don't think Egypt will ever change. We say, 'You can guard a thousand sheep with just one dog.' It's not difficult for an entire government to control a nation.
"So, now I have this freedom that I dreamed about, and I have to decide what to do with it. Everybody has this dream to improve his life. When you finally get the chance, you have all these questions you never had before. I'm free. I can do what I want. But do I have the potential to do what I want? Sometimes I feel like I'm in this crowd, but I don't know how to get out of this crowd. I'm free. I'm lost."