“I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.” These are the words that will be ringing through Faneuil Hall on February 20th, as 350 people from 35 nations become American citizens.
I am honored to have been asked to speak during this naturalization ceremony where I will be able to share my experience of becoming a citizen of this great country. I can wholeheartedly relate to the excitement and apprehension that these future citizens will feel about starting a new life and chapter in a new country. Hopefully, my story will inspire these citizens and their families to take advantage of the endless opportunities that are offered in their new homeland.
My journey started in 1974 when I came to America from Pakistan to attend business school. The experience of being part of a country that offers so many resources and guidance to anyone who has the ambition to succeed here is profound. My time in America has been extremely blessed. My citizenship has allowed me to seek opportunities I could only dream about as a young child. This is my home, this is where all of my children were born, and this is the country that has afforded me unlimited possibilities to prosper.
I hope that I can guide these new citizens to find the acceptance and camaraderie that I was able to find here in America. I wish them happiness and success as they embark on their new journey, and I am thrilled and humbled to be a part of the process.
-Mahmud Jafri, CEO of Dover Rug & Home