06.16.2017People

A father taken & given back: An immigrant dad’s perspective

By: Jason Small

It’s a school day and five-and-a-half-year-old Emir Fazlic is walking to school when he hears a whistling sound. It’s the sound a bomb makes when it’s falling from the sky.

Emir’s cousin, hearing the bombs, jumps on his bike with his brother to go looking for Emir. They find him, but the nightmare is just beginning.

Emir and his family are caught in the beginning of a civil war in Bosnia. Shortly after the war begins, his father is taken from his family and put in a concentration camp. “He was there one second and just gone the next,” says Emir.

In a rushed and chaotic moment his mother grabs Emir and his brother. “We have to leave,” she says.

“There’s not that much time to think, you know you have to survive,” Emir shares.

His dad was gone for eight months. One day he jumps out of bed hearing that his father is back and sees his mom. “I jump out of bed and my mom is hugging an individual. At that point I almost seemed to have forgotten how my dad looked.”

I jump out of bed and my mom is hugging an individual. At that point I almost seemed to have forgotten how my dad looked.

Emir with his father.

Emir reunites with his dad. At 14, they come to the United States as immigrants. “I actually kissed the ground when we landed here. My first day in the United States was a culture shock.”

Emir grows up in the United States to become a father of a beautiful little girl. “Being a dad is probably one of the most enjoyable gifts I have been blessed with. To provide such an enjoyable life for her that we have never had, it's priceless.”

Not only is Emir an immigrant and a grateful father, but we’re lucky to have him as part of our team working on your network.

For Emir, Father’s Day is particularly important to him. It’s a time when he reflects on how important his own father is to him, and the sacrifices he made for his family as a young immigrant family. As a new dad, he also feels acutely aware of the responsibility he has for his daughter and grateful for the life they have been able to carve out here in the states.

Given his experiences growing up, Emir is probably more aware than most of the importance of being connected, and staying connected to the people that matter most in our lives. A citizen in a new country; an immigrant, trying to stay connected to his heritage; and a father, wanting to always be available at a moment’s notice. He has a strong sense of duty when it comes to building the best network for our customers.

Employees like Emir are the reason we have been able to build the best network for our customers.

We wish all of the fathers out there the happiest Father's Day possible.

Watch a video of Emir sharing his powerful story.

Read Lowell McAdam's "I am an Immigrant" post on LinkedIn

For related media inquiries, please contact story-inquiry@oneverizon.com

About the author(s): 

Jason Small leads storytelling for the Verizon communications team. His background includes online and offline roles in digital marketing and communications within corporate, agency and startup environments across more than 20 brands. You can connect with Jason on Twitter @JasonSmallChats.