Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 2, 2013

SHS senior overwhelmed by celebration of his U.S. citizenship

Somerset —  

The whooping cheers of hundreds of high schoolers filled W.B. Jones Auditorium as Nasrat Amarkhail stepped to the microphone. 
Looking out from the stage at the Somerset High School student body, it was his chance to say whatever was in his heart. Instead of saying it, however, Amarkhail showed it.
At a loss for words, the young man known simply as “Nas” to his friends, stood in silence for a frozen moment, looking down and choking back the emotion that was on the verge of overwhelming him. His inability to find words spoke volumes: Amarkhail was experiencing true, unfiltered joy.
“Since the day I’ve been here, I’ve been treated like a king,” were the words he finally mustered, his parents looking on proudly from behind him. “That’s all I can say.”
And after Amarkhail thanked his friends and teachers for being with him through all his “ups and downs,” the Somerset High band struck up “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the students again erupted in celebration. It was all in honor of one very special life change for one of their number:
Amarkhail had become an American citizen.
Born in Afghanistan, Amarkhail and his family lived for most of his young life in the capital city of Kabul, a commonly-heard name on American cable news networks over the last decade. 
As a seventh-grader, however, Amarkhail and his family had an opportunity to move to the United States — and they took it. For years, Amarkhail attended the Somerset Independent School System — first at Meece Middle, then SHS — as an Afghan living on American soil.
Recently, however, Amarkhail decided to change that.
“I wanted to become a U.S. citizen because it’s very safe for me — I feel safe here,” said Amarkhail, now a high school senior. “This is where I want to stay.”

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