Amara Yeo Sitafa – The Philosopher, Wise, My Inspiration And a True Friend

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Amara Yeo Sitafa - A true friend

My friend Amara and I were considered as best friends during the Community College Initiative Program. He is one of my wonderful CCI program fellow. He is my inspiration. He is honest, wise and a true friend. The word Amara means Crown (Arabic). He is my crown and I am so proud of him. During the program from July 2016 to May 2017, on a daily basis, I needed him and he was always there to help me.

The Background

I was lucky enough to meet a friend from Côte d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast. That was the second time I heard the name of his country. Before that I heart Côte d’Ivoire in the news as Pakistani Army has been in Côte d’Ivoire for a long time for United Nations missions. We become friends on Facebook before we met face to face. I met him in Turquoise Room in Scottsdale Community College in July, 2016. You know for new friends it’s so hard to talk to each other. However, our case was very different. We laughed so much even on our first day. The common interest between us was Be Like Bro. This Facebook page has been so funny for last few years. It brought smiles, laughs and emotions to thousands of people around the world.

We were selected for the same fields of study. We both were pursuing Certificate of Business Management. During the orientation of the CCI Program, I decided to be his roommate but God has another good plan for me. I come across a situation when I requested my coordinator Megan Young that I don’t want smoking, alcohol and pork in my apartment due to strict religious reasons (I know how idiot I was lol). The coordinator made two groups. One group was Smokers and the other was non-smoking group. So, I think he got scared of my values and he choose to be with Harry Rahawarin from Indonesia.

Later, we choose so many classes together. With every passing day, our friendship grew. We worked on many assignments and projects together. We always sat to each other in English107 and Accounting211 because Americans were afraid to talk to us. The reason might be he was black and I was a Muslim in the class. We went to volunteer work many times. Internship at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance VITA was the main platform where we spent so much time together. He ate a lot. Seriously, when it comes to buying grocery and food, I swear his bill is three times or four times of my bill.

I have a story to share and make you Smile. One day Sushma Darshanala from India and I was working on an assignment. It was a Sunday. Amara came and said I am hungry, you have to feed me mannnnn. I cooked red beans that day. I said to him; “you can take it from the pot on the stove.” He ate the beans and left the apartment with the message that I didn’t serve him well. When we finished our assignments, we found he ate all the beans. I was thinking I cooked for like two, three persons but it was not even enough for him. Then, we went to Fry’s and bought cooked food for the lunch.

Some of Photos Together

Amara Yeo Sitafa and Qasim Khilji

Our First Photo Taken by Dad Al Potter

The last Hug which I will never forget

Qualities of Amara Yeo

I am a very social person. Life without friends is like a jail for me. Amara is one to whom I shared my plans, thoughts and feelings. He is the best guide and mentor. Seriously, he was more than a teacher to me. He taught me so many lessons for my life which I will never forget. He is an honest and trustworthy. Whenever I was sad and depressed he helped me to overcome my depression. I also like the way he is cracking jokes and having lots of fun in the friendship circle. He took care of my health. We used to go to gym together in the night. I was his personal trainer (Don’t judge me on my single pasli body). He is a quick learner. Besides that he is well-mannered and belong to a respectable family.

I am completely changed now because he changed my personality in a good way. I wish everyone should have a friend like Amara because friend like him you can call true friend. Amara I miss you so much. My heart prays for you every time I think of you. May Allah be with you always. Ameen.

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Qasim is an accounting and auditing professional in Pakistan, where he graduated from University of Peshawar with a degree in Commerce, majoring in Accounting. Qasim came to Arizona at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State in their Community College Initiative Program. This program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Northern Virginia Community College as a member of the Community College Consortium. Qasim has more than four years experience in the social sector, specifically, working in donor-funded projects with various international organizations and UN agencies like the World Food Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and National Education Foundation of Pakistan, among others. He independently began operations of a small business incubator. Qasim's dream is to become a social entrepreneur and serve his country internationally and domestically.

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