Marisa Elias- 8th Grader

Sharon Alvarado

Marisa Elias is an eighth grader at Rio. She was born in Syria and can speak Arabic. Marisa came to the United States December of 2009. Her father wanted her family to live in America and see what it was like. Due to a war in Syria, Marisa’s family decided to stay in America. She is looking forward to traveling back to Syria to visit next summer.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Or activities you enjoy?

A: “I am obsessed with drawing and watching Anime!

Q: How was life in Syria?

A: “I don’t really remember much from when I was in Syria because I was 1-3 years old but my mom tells me it was more lively than here, people would walk everywhere and there was barely any cars used since the land was so flat and it seemed like everyone knew everyone there since the community was pretty small.

Q: What is the hardest part about speaking two languages and being new to a country?

A:”I think the hardest thing was on the first day of preschool I didn’t really understand anyone at all and I would communicate by facial expressions or by nodding, but I caught on how to speak English really quick since I was 4 at the time and it was easy for me to learn quicker. I think the hardest thing about being from a different country is that some people kinda get confused or shocked when I tell them I wasn’t born here because of the way I look, because I look American but I haven’t had people really think of me differently, but sometimes people would kinda make fun of how I speak in Arabic because it’s unusual to them, it kinda bothers me but I don’t let it effect me. “

Q: Do you prefer Syria or the U.S.?

A: “I can’t really tell you the answer since I can barely remember anything but I prefer Syria since it makes me feel more at home, I don’t really know how to explain it but I guess it’s because I was born there so I have a connection with it.”

Q: What was your favorite thing about Syria?

A: “I think my favorite thing was the people, my mom would tell me how everyone knew everyone and it just felt very connected, and the people there are really nice.”

Q: How did you start getting into anime?

A: “My friend had me watch one show in 5th grade. The first one I watched was “Fairy Tale” I fell in love with the style of series. You get attached to each character and the art style is amazing.”

Q: What are your favorite Animes? A: My favorite Animes are “The Promised Neverland,” “Erased,” and “School Live.”