How Nothing Became Something

Fathers finds new life for family in the US



Mohammad Hammad at his gas station in Houston back in 2012. It was his first shop that he opened, and he wanted to see what he could do in life and what he could accomplish.

Abed Allah Hammad, Reporter

My father Mohammad Hammad and my mother Randa Rebhi have always taught me and told me that words don’t speak for you, it’s always your action that speaks for you, and that’s how I learned to be a great kid.

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”

Most people are visual learners. In 2006, my father struggled, going through a lot of things like with the immigration just for me and my siblings to have the best life.

Living in Jordan was hard because everything was too expensive, and you can barely make any money there, and you can barely find a job.

“You know the hardest moment was when I had to switch to so many apartments,” my father said. “That was because I didn’t have any money to spend.”

My father decided to then get out of Jordan and see if he could come to the United States, but when he tried to get a passport, they would always deny it.

“After trying so many times I didn’t want to keep asking for a passport,” my father said. “Because they were very strict about who they give passports to.”

They were asking what the reasons for him were to go to America, and he was telling them how you can’t find jobs and everything was expensive.

He went back to living with his mom, and my dad at that time was married to my mom, so my mom was living with his family in an apartment until my dad could figure out what he was going to do.

“No one would like to live in a little apartment with their husband’s family,” my mother said. “But I had to deal with it because I knew the future was waiting for us to have a better life.”

After four months of my dad living with his family he went to see if he could get the passport and go to the United States. They finally accepted his application, and he took a flight after a week. After he landed he went to live with his cousin because he didn’t have anywhere to go. Later on my father started working with his cousin in a grocery store. After saving up he later on opened up his own tax shop.

“When I first came, I had no one except my cousin, so I lived with my cousin.” Hammad said. “Until I opened my own tax shop and made a room for myself to live in.”

Because his business started to succeeded, he was able to save up some money, and he told my mom that me and all my siblings had to move to America. After two years we all took a flight and moved to America. The first day we got here, my father told us that we were going to buy a house that same day. We found a house that we all liked, and then we waited about a month until we moved in the new house.

It was okay. My father had a plan.

“How this is going to work is by us living in the tax business until we can move in,” my father said. “There is no other place to stay other than here.”

After moving in the new house, me and all my siblings saw the difference between Jordan and America. We saw what hard work is and how it payed off at the end.

After a week, my parents told me and my siblings to sit down because they wanted to have a talk with us, and they started talking about what they want us to learn from their experience.

“I thank god every day I’m in the situation I’m in because not a lot of people have the same life as me,” my father said. “And I for sure succeeded in my job because over there I did not have that much of a good life.”

He told us how American people reacted to him and how his business succeeded.

“Everyone thought I was racist, but I have learned to ignore people and not care what they say because I’ve had to deal with that my whole life,” my father said. “Without me succeeding in the tax business we all wouldn’t be here and that’s all of because of my hard work.”

The last thing he told my mom was how he came here to see us succeed and how he sees the difference between the U.S. and Jordan.

“For my kids the schools are way better here and easier because over there you can barely make money working and it’s hard to even find jobs,” my father said. “There is a lot of differences between these two countries and living here is so much better.”