The Student News Site of Hazelwood West High School

Wildcat Post

Wildcat Post

The Student News Site of Hazelwood West High School

Wildcat Post

Student Spotlight: Essa Karimi


Student culture is something Hazelwood West prides itself in recognizing and honoring. West has many cultures including Thailand, Germany, Belgium, Haiti and many more. Experiencing different culture enhances the quality of life and increases the overall well-being of individuals and communities. Essa Karimi is known throughout the school for his knowledge and perspective as an Afghani. 

 Americans expect others to have a certain way of life growing up, with Karimi, it’s different. He grew up in a different country. A country with different beliefs, economies, and even a whole different language.

“I was born and raised in Afghanistan, my whole childhood. So my culture was very different from the American type of childhood.” Karimi said. 

At West, many people are impactful inspiring, and motivational. Being able to do those things a positive mental attitude is needed. Karimi gets his inspiration from his friends.

“My friends inspired me by always encouraging me to do well get my work done and stay away from the bad things. They encourage me so I can graduate with them and can get into the same colleges.” Karimi said.

Karimi struggled at first with integration into America, but with the help of video games, he was able to learn more than just the skills built into video games. For Karimi, it helped him learn his English better. Who would’ve thought that video games are beneficial? 

“Transitioning to an American school was hard because I didn’t know any English. I started to watch video games and it got a lot easier. I now speak the best English in my family” Karimi said.

To stay connected to his culture Jumu’ah prayer is a must. Jumu’ah prayer, meaning Friday prayer, is a prayer that Muslims hold every Friday at noon. During prayer, it’s essential to have good hygiene and clean clothes to go to the prayer.

“I stay connected to my culture by attending Jumu’ah prayer. I usually go after school and wear traditional clothes when I go.” Karimi said.

Karimi’s advice he can give to others who want to know more about different cultures.

 “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I would gladly explain anything to you. If you wanna learn ask me I’ll be straightforward, not everything you ask is racist.” 



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