This coming Independence Day will be a special celebration for one American citizen. Abdul Kareem Dawoud, a cook at Brightview Danvers, recently became a citizen through naturalization and shared his experience about emigrating to the United States.
Dawoud was born in Jordan and moved to the U.S. in October 2017. His wife is American, so Dawoud was eligible to receive a green card. After living and working in the country for three years, Dawoud was eligible to apply for citizenship. He had to pass a civics test and was interviewed about his family, job, and more. Although the process was delayed during the pandemic, Dawoud is excited to be a citizen and receive his U.S. passport.
He enjoys the diversity here in America, saying, “My country is a little small, so here, I can see a lot of people who are different. If you stay in one country with the same people, you can’t see new experiences or different languages.”
Still, moving away from his home wasn’t easy. “I miss my country and my family over there,” Dawoud said. One thing that has made the transition easier for Dawoud is soccer. He played soccer for a Jordanian national team affiliate for 15 years and has stuck with his passion after moving to the U.S. He has played for the Eastern Premier Soccer League for Mass United Rush and Boston Siege.
Dawoud’s career with Brightview Senior Living has also helped him acclimate to a new culture and language. Dawoud’s wife previously worked at Brightview North Andover, so she helped him find a job with the dining team at Brightview Wakefield when he first emigrated. There, he worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher. After about a week of washing dishes, his manager Matthew Hinkle noticed Dawoud’s strong work ethic and good attitude. He spent the next six to seven months teaching Dawoud how to cook the Brightview menu. Dawoud worked at Brightview Wakefield for about a year before transferring to Brightview Danvers. Now, he works as a Cook and also helps as a Maintenance Technician.
One of Dawoud’s favorite dishes to cook is roast beef with gravy and mashed potatoes on the side. “I like making designs with the potatoes, and residents love it,” he said. In terms of a favorite dish from his home, Dawoud loves farrouj meshwi, which is a chargrilled chicken dish served with rice.
To celebrate Dawoud’s citizenship, the Brightview Danvers dining team had a celebratory cake and balloons. “Working with Brightview helped me during this process,” Dawoud said. “The celebration was really nice.”
As we celebrate our country’s independence, may we reflect on the many immigrants, including our ancestors, that have shaped our culture and contributed to our growth. We are proud to support the caring, compassionate associates working in Brightview communities that have forged a new path for themselves and their families after leaving their homes.
Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.