Photos courtesy of The World in Fargo-Moorhead
The World in Fargo-Moorhead is a community project that shows the immense diversity of foreign-born residents now living in the Red River Valley—one portrait and story at a time. Each month, FargoMonthly.com features individuals photographed and interviewed by the participants in The World in Fargo-Moorhead.
You can find more information about The World in Fargo-Moorhead project at Facebook.com/TheWorldInFM, Twitter.com/TheWorldInFM and Instagram.com/TheWorldInFM. You can also view more videos on their YouTube channel.
Anyone interested in participating in the project can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message on the project’s Facebook page. Newcomers are welcome to attend the project’s monthly meetings every third Wednesday of the month from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Fercho conference room at the Fargo Public Library, 102 N 3rd St., Fargo.
Hataikarn Kongduang Hearne | Thailand
Photo and interview by Mohsen Tahmasebi | @theworldinfm
“My name is Hataikarn Kongduang Hearne but you can call me Tai, Tai from Thailand! It’s easy! I’m from Bangkok. Honestly, it’s a big city so my first year here was difficult because Fargo is kind of quiet. It took me a while to adjust myself and feel like Fargo is my second home. People here are nice and friendly, they know about Thai food so it’s easy to start a conversation and connect with them. I remember once someone asked me (if) people have cars or roads in Bangkok or not. I was surprised and didn’t know how to explain! I thought the easiest way is to compare Bangkok to big cities like New York City and Chicago. Bangkok is a favorite tourist destination and Thai people are so friendly to people from other countries.”
James Christie | United Kingdom
Photo by Mustafa Akhtar & Interview by Maggie Christie | @theworldinfm
James Christie grew up in a suburb of London but traveled Europe during his time in the restaurant trade. He moved here in 1978 to be with his American-born wife. Though James makes a living as a furniture salesperson, in his spare time he is an avid cyclist, photographer, gardener, and community volunteer.
“I’ve had some interesting experiences throughout my life. I’ve found myself in places I’d never heard of before. I think I’d want people to know that I’ve worked hard my whole life, and I’ve always tried to do the right thing. I’ve looked back on my life and said, “Oh my gosh, some of the ideas I had thirty years ago were terrible!” You know? Live and learn as you go through life. But I think I’ve tried to do the right thing.”
When asked if there was anything he wanted to share with The World in Fargo-Moorhead before closing the interview, Christie took a thoughtful pause, then answered:
“There’s a huge demographic change going on in the world. There’s a mass migration. It’s happened before. It’s gonna happen again. Things are changing. I understand that things are changing. I had a very old neighbor who was a great guy, but who was, you know, very much living fifty years ago, and we have two choices. People are here. People are changing. There (are) two things you can do. You can accept. You can learn to live with [people who are different from you]. You can accept people. And gosh, every new wave, the food gets better, doesn’t it? Or you can fight it and you’re not gonna win and there will be violence and nobody wants that. That’s kind of a thing of mine right now that I think people have just got to live and let live and get along with people.”
Jhon Giancarlo | Peru
Photo & interview by Fauzia Haider | @theworldinfm
“I came to USA in 2010. All my family is in Peru. I met my wife, Melissa, in Peru, got married and came to Fargo.”
Melissa was volunteering and teaching English at a college in Peru.
“Fargo is an open community. People here like other people and are open to international community. What makes the difference is NDSU and all the International students. I didn’t feel welcome in Bismarck.
“In 2010, when I moved here, I didn’t speak any English; my wife would translate for me. It felt like a prison because of the language barrier. I love fishing and would go fishing to escape and be by myself. But now I go fishing to socialize. I love cooking. I like to share my culture through food. We have Peruvian night at our home. We invite a lot of friends and ask them to bring their friends too. We host about 20-30 people. Ceviche is my favorite dish. Being home with kids and family makes me happy.”
Jhon is a trained civil engineer working for a consulting firm in Fargo. He is planning to attend NDSU in spring to get a master’s degree in Engineering.
Haroon Al Hayder | Iraq
Photo by Fauzia Haider & Interview by Joan Dolence | @theworldinfm
“In Iraq, the Yazidi people are persecuted. My uncle, who was an interpreter for the US Army, came to the US in 2014. In 2016, my family had the chance to come to the U.S. We arrived on February 1, 2016, except my sister, who is still there. We are doing our best to get her over here.
“Most of my English I got from American songs and movies. I wanted to be an interpreter. I really wanted to work with the U.S. Army, and I did. I worked with the U.S. Coalition in Iraq.
“I want people to know who are the Yazidi, what is the Yazidi culture, and that the Yazidi are being persecuted. We have a really rich culture. Peace is central to our culture. We ran away from fear and intimidation by terrorism. We ask for peace for other people first and then for us. It’s a kind of philanthropy in what we wish for humanity.
“We have a duty in the world, and that duty is to love. We all cry for peace. I think if we keep spreading love and peace, the rest will be all right.”
Ning Wang | China
Photographer Mohsen Tahmasebi | @theworldinfm
“Although big cities like Beijing have many people from different countries, in small cities, like my hometown, you will only find few people from different countries. When I came here, I met many people from other countries. Actually, there are different people in my office from different cultures and I enjoy talking to them about their traditions.”
Ning is a graduate student in civil engineering at NDSU. He is working on a project that addresses water resources issues in North Dakota.
About The World in Fargo-Moorhead
The World in Fargo-Moorhead shows the immense diversity of foreign-born residents now living in the Red River Valley—one portrait and story at a time. Modeled after Humans of New York, the project features portraits and interviews of immigrants, refugees, students and/or workers on temporary visas who live in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The World in Fargo-Moorhead officially launched in September 2016 as an exhibit for Welcoming Week at the Main Public Library in downtown Fargo. It was created as a collaborative effort among photo enthusiasts to raise awareness about the range of cultures that define our area. Watch their introduction video to learn more.
The money raised from your generous contribution will fund the following:
- Photo prints, frames and text panels for our upcoming exhibit
- Stipends for exhibit coordinators and our exhibit curator
- Promotional materials including flyers, postcards and posters
- Social media advertising
- Miscellaneous materials needed to fund the project for the coming year. Help us keep The World in Fargo-Moorhead going. Your contribution is 100 % tax deductible. Any amount is appreciated.
* The fiscal sponsor for this fundraising effort is The Human Family, a 501c3 organization. So, your donation is tax deductible.